Freedom Jazz Dance
Review by Willard Manus

When an important jazz critic like Nat Hentoff praises the "rejuvenating spirit" of a new singer, it behooves one to pay her some mind.

Cynthia Felton is her name and, after listening to her FREEDOM JAZZ DANCE album, all I can do is thank Hentoff for the tip--and raise my voice in praise of Felton as well. The L.A.-based singer (she is artistic director of The Ethnomusicology Library of American Heritage) has a voice, spirit and musicality that are truly remarkable. She puts all of these qualities into each of the twelve songs on the CD, songs that range over the jazz spectrum, from ballads like My Funny Valentine and Nature Boy to swinging numbers like Better Than Anything and My Love Is (on which she scats and wails like Ella).

Felton is also backed up by some of L.A.'s most illustrious musicians: Cyrus Chestnut, John Beasely, Nolan Shaheed, Patrice Rushen and Lorca Hart, to name but a few. They work in flawless, even exquisite fashion with Felton, helping to bring out all the many colors in her voice, all the beauty and soul that this remarkable young singer possesses. (Felton Entertainment,