With a voice shockingly reminiscent of jazz greats Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, but with a mix of its own, Madeleine Peyroux (pronounced Peru) can charm the listener like no one else alive can. Did I just get your attention? Hopefully, I did.
Madeleine Peyroux got her start in Paris, singing jazz standards in her young teens. With a talent for her vocal-rich interpretive style, Peyroux eventually was signed to Atlantic Records, releasing her debut, Dreamland, an album which garnered great praise alerting the world to this new jazz vocal talent. By the time she released her second album, some eight years later, she had honed her styles immensely. Careless Love contained 12 brilliant tunes, including her interpretations of Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End Of Love," Elliott Smith's "Between the Bars," Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go," and the gorgeous lullaby "This Is Heaven To Me." These and other songs helped Careless Love move more than a million units, creating a wealth of fans.
Careless Love was followed by Half the Perfect World with cover tunes of several Cohen songs as well as music by Serge Gainsbourg, Tom Waits, and an entrancing version of Joni Mitchell's "River." She also included a small offering of charming originals. Soon she moved over into original songs (Bare Bones, 2009) and with her last album, Standing on the Rooftop (2011), a grand mix of mostly originals and a few covers (Dylan, Robert Johnson, and Beatles). Standing on the Rooftop also found Peyroux writing new songs with such names as Bill Wyman and Jenny Scheinman.
On March 5 Peyroux will release her seventh title, The Blue Room, a heady mix of original tracks as well as a return to a healthy dose of uniquely interpreted songs by others (Randy Newman, Buddy Holly, John Hartford, Warren Zevon).
If you haven't had the pleasure of listening to Madeleine Peyroux, you should remedy that oversight as soon as possible. You may find your mind racing with thoughts of songs you'd love to hear Peyroux lend her hypnotic voice to.