Vocalist, songwriter, flautist and arranger Cherise was a member of Tomorrow’s Warriors at 16 and the winner of the Jazz FM vocalist of the year award in 2019. Despite this pedigree, she’s chosen to make her debut release a four-track EP rather than a full-blown album (the promo CD includes a radio edit of the title song, but this doesn’t seem to be on the commercial release version). It’s probably a wise move, enabling her to showcase her talents on a few of her best songs rather than over-stretching things too early.
Cherise Adams-Burnett, to use her full name, is a talented individual, having made her presence felt across the jazz world with appearances at the Cheltenham, Love Supreme and EFG London jazz festivals, as well as performances with, among others, Ashley Henry and Nubiyan Twist.
All of the songs on Paradise are her own compositions and arrangements and her singing is notable for its impressive emotional range and high degree of expressiveness. She’s fond of scat and skilled at it, but this side of her vocals can overstay its welcome.
Paradise is a soulful number, notable for cool, restrained, playing from the rhythm section. Violet Night is a smooth Latin-jazz song uplifted by Ernesto Marichales’s percussion and Tal Janes’s acoustic guitar. The opening to Felicity borrows from Skylark before following its own path.
Siren Song is the big production number, with added horns, strings and choir. It’s beautifully constructed: dramatic and emotive, it makes full use of voice and instruments without feeling overcrowded or overblown – a credit to Cherise’s arranging talents and Jason Yarde’s production skills.
Paradise; Violet Night; Siren Song; Felicity; Paradise (radio edit) (25.00)
Cherise (v, f); Andy Bunting (p); Louis Van Der Westhuizen (b); Jonathan Silk (d); and others. No place or date of recording given.
Self-released, no identification