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Cécile McLorin Salvant, ‘For One to Love’

With a voice so versatile and beautiful, there’s nothing this young jazz singer can’t do. On her second album, For One to Love, she covers classics from the jazz and pop worlds, as well as from musical theater, and completely owns every song.

Salvant and band recorded live in Avatar Studio A (NYC) with engineer Todd Whitelock and producer Albert Pryor. “Before recording Cécile’s debut, Woman Child, I cautioned her that we might be doing hours of vocal overdubs after sending the band home,” Pryor says. “She shot me this polite smile, which I attributed to naïveté. After laying down a couple of tunes, the possibility of overdubs was not and has not since, ever been mentioned. 

“With Cécile’s vocals, every whisper, every growl, every syllable that is uttered and every pause that is taken has as much meaning as the lyrics themselves. Each vocal utterance is a musical and lyrical interaction with what the accompanying players’ choices are at that very moment.”

To select McLorin-Salvant’s vocal mic for this project, Pryor says, “We went through a complete mic locker at Avatar, and finally settled on a Lauten Atlantis prototype, hand-tuned by Brian Loudenslager with input from Fab Dupont, who loaned us that microphone. With a DW Fearn VT-1 tube preamp and the Neve [8088 console], we got something akin to the sound of a vintage M 49 large-diaphragm that could withstand the SPL.

“Cécile has near-perfect intonation and an endless supply of improvisational ideas,” Pryor continues. “She has well-honed microphone techniques to get every nuance out of every syllable and consonant. Cécile’s artistry comes from every corner of vocal music history and vocabulary: jazz, blues, opera, baroque, classical.”