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Switzerland-based vocalist Sylvie Bourban combines avant-garde with Brazilian jazz on compelling new album
(Published: April 08, 2011)

April 8, 2011 (Lausanne, Switzerland) Written by Robert Sutton. Jazz vocalist Sylvie Bourban must have seen Heaven already; it is reflected in her voice.

On "I Via," nearly the last track on her new album, Carnet de Route, Bourban's dreamy, chilly vocals drift in the ether, gliding atop hypnotically atmospheric piano. It's a moment of hushed beauty, Bourban's haunting, silky soft delivery casting a light in the darkness while leaving shadows of its own. Such otherworldly drama is uncommon in jazz, but then again there is nothing common about Bourbon, either.

On Carnet de Route, the Switzerland-based singer unreels two sides of her talent. The first half or so of the album is minimalist, avant-garde experimentalism with Bourban using her voice as an instrument against a spare acoustic guitar. The operatic playfulness to her singing is utterly compelling, especially on "Bitchyon (oiseau en general)." There is a fiery intensity to her singing that recalls Björk at times albeit more refined and subtle in her approach.

According to Bourbon, her primary influence currently is Tom Waits. "His compositions, his interpretations, his freedom in the music and his musical choices inspire me," Bourban revealed. "Some of his tunes are very melodic, and some are very loud and rough noises. I love listening to all of it and try to keep as open as possible to hear and wonder how it makes me feel, despite any moral judgment on whether I ‘like' it or not."

Although on the surface Bourban doesn't have much stylistically in common with Waits, they do share an affinity for doing the unpredictable. For example, Bourban devotes the second part of her record to Brazilian jazz, trading unplugged quirkiness for the shuffling Latin beat of "Ouei." It's a daring move, one that Waits would certainly applaud. "I can say for sure that my views on music are now incredibly freer than they were," Bourban explained. "I see freedom in terms of arrangement, interpretation, and sound exploration; it became very important to my music."

More Information: http://www.sylviebourban.com

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