Mira Choquette: In Reel Time

Montréalaise lawyer and jazz singer applies her distinctive voice to Jacques Brel, Cole Porter, Nat Adderley, Stevie Wonder and more

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A love of singing and of jazz prompted Mira Choquette toward a career as a jazz singer and in her late-teenage years she sang semi-professionally in Montréal, which is where she was born in 1982. She was aided in learning her trade through the guidance of a musician friend, Josh Goldman, and jazz pianist and composer Andrés Vial.

In 2014, Choquette recorded an album, Something Cool, but then opted for marriage. A few years on and no longer married, she moved to Toronto and although still bent on a legal career she was singing more. On qualifying in law in 2020, she set up a practice specialising in the entertainment industry and human rights issues.

Reacting to the impact of Covid-19, she moved to Puerto Escondido in Mexico and continued to perform, often in Mexico City. She remains based in Mexico, but has retained her musical connections in Canada and has also worked internationally, singing at venues in Europe.

For this new album, she has selected a pleasing mixture of standards and less familiar songs. Among the well-known titles are No Moon At All (by Redd Evans & David Mann), Ne Me Quitte Pas (Jacques Brel), and Cole Porter’s What Is This Thing Called Love? and Just One Of Those Things. Known to jazz fans is Nat Adderley & Curtis Lewis’s The Old Country, and also familiar, although not usually in a jazz setting, are Stevie Wonder’s Overjoyed and Jump In The Line (by Harry Belafonte & Steve Samuel & Gabriel Oller).

There is also an original, Love Crime, by Choquette and her old friend Josh Goldman, who plays bass here. They are joined by pianist Ewen Farncombe and drummer Morgan Childs. This backing trio is always supportive and there are several good solos from Farncombe. The spotlight though, shines chiefly on the singer.

Together, the songs speak of the ups and downs of life in general and personal relationships in particular and all are very well interpreted by Choquette whose reading of lyrics is mature and intelligent. She has a distinctive and attractive vocal sound, warm and moving on ballads and with an easy swing on the medium tempo songs. Mira Choquette’s new release will have wide appeal among lovers of good jazz singing.

Discography
No Moon At All; Just One Of Those Things; Love Crime; There Are Worse Things I Could Do; What Is This Thing Called Love?; Overjoyed; Jump In The Line (Shake Senora); Ne Me Quitte Pas; The Old Country (32.21)
Choquette (v); Ewen Farncombe (p); Josh Goldman (b); Morgan Childs (d). Montréal, 2022.
mirachoquette.bandcamp.com