Holland’s Caro Emerald can certainly lay claim to a show-stopping debut. This is the purest big-band jazz we’ve heard in a long, long time; the listener instantly whisked away to grand dance hall filled with feather boas and with its own house brass band, somewhere in deepest New Orleans – it’s almost as if each track exudes an atmosphere all of its own. This isn’t modern music by any stretch – it’s classic, period listening that showcases the singer’s sparkling talents beautifully.
Emerald’s jazz vocals mix a rare delicacy with the required aplomb that the music really needs – she can bellow with the best, but can also provide a real intimacy that delights. Recent single ‘Back It Up’ blossoms from a sax open to a really deep and sumptuous mix of drums, beats with pure brassy soul and her perfectly judged vocals. ‘That Man’ is a cool and quirky piano backed joy that refuses to let you out of its grasp. The sound will be compared with the likes of Paloma Faith, but where they share a general tone, Faith is yet to indulge in as unadulterated and unashamed jazz. This is the closest your CD player will sound to a gramophone with some true warmth and shimmer to the music. No tracks really stand out as good or bad, meaning Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor could be one of the most consistent albums we’ve heard in a good while. The quirky ‘Dr Wanna Do’ is a bit of a surprise, but works in the context of that which is around it.
Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor is so authentic it could easily have been released half a century ago. While others raid back catalogues and old styles with, what appears at times, to be a sense of desperation, Caro Emerald‘s gleaming debut proves that there is still much to be gained by revisiting the past. We’re not just listening to old times here, we’re experiencing the feel you can only usually get from really being there and, in that, the she’s surely unlocked the secrets of time travel!