On May 23, curly-haired sprite Cyrille Aimée sparkled on stage at Rockwell's in Pelham, NY. Currently residing in Brooklyn, she pulls her inspiration from many places. Besides her French mother and Dominican father, Cyrille has found great inspiration in the Gypsy musicians she spent nights jamming with in her musically formative years. Did sneaking out against her parent's wishes pay off? Absolutely. Her music is infused with the richness of someone always open to creative inspiration.
The night started off with Billie Holiday's old favorite, “You Turned the Tables On Me". She showed herself a master of the old jazz sound while keeping it refreshing. A great guitar solo, combined with Cyrille's lovely vibrato and adorable hiccups kept the standard light, new, and totally entertaining.
Original “Bamboo Shoots” from upcoming album “It's a Good Day” combined gypsy sounds with a samba beat and a gorgeous guitar solo with Cyrille's typical uninhibited grace for a modern, light number. Another original, “Nuit Blanche” brought out Cyrille Aimée's talent at it's best. There was such a twinkle in Cyrille's eye, this writer wished she could understand French better! Translated, “Nuit Blanche” means all-nighter, and indeed Cyrille Aimée wrote this after her own all-nighter. Incorporating Gypsy sounds and her natural, fluid scat, this song seemed to come out of a different world. Cyrille Aimée doesn't just sing jazz. She has that indescribable “thing” - that joy that only comes from a passionate artist.
The next jazz standard Cyrille brought her magic touch to was “Love Me or Leave Me”, initially made famous by Nina Simone. Pure joy emanated from her as she sang; she was like a cat with feathers in her mouth. Guitar players Michael Valeanu and Koran Agan followed suit, starting with a conversation mid-set which soon became a duel with Cyrille in the middle refereeing. Perhaps this was the reason she wore her black and white striped pants!
From originals to old standards to an amazing scat duet with bassist Sam Anning, Cyrille Aimée left the audience floating in her pixie dust. Her warm voice, gypsy jazz and sparkle were the perfect ending to that warm spring night.