Alice Smith: New Year's Eve Afterparty
Alice Smith is, on the evidence of her solo debut, 'For Lovers, Dreamers & Me' (BBE Records), the most promising female singer-songwriter to go her own enrapturing way in a very long time. She was named one of "10 Artists to Watch" in Rolling Stone and has struck a chord through audiences through tours with Citizen Cope and Santogold. She was r invited to perform at the Grammy Foundation's Starry Night event honoring Quincy Jones alongside a group of established artists including John Legend, Gloria Estefan, Babyface, Kanye West and Nancy Wilson. Her voice, with its four-octave range, is luscious and powerful and nuanced and finely sensitive to rhythm. Yet it never makes a cult of its own abilities; for all its fantastic manners, Smith's voice gets on down the road. Sometimes she sings with a booming intensity, yet Smith never loses the unlearnable balance and poise that separates good singers from great ones. And her basic attitudes, which are audible in every unforced phrase she negotiates, are all her own.