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Robin McKelle: The Looking Glass

New York vocal stylist/songwriter plants her flag.

Robin McKelle’s UK visit last year was an add-on to one of her frequent sojourns to France, where appreciation for her bluesy soul sophistry is considerably more palpable. But her show at London’s Jazz Café confirmed that British audiences should wise up fast.

2006’s Introducing Robin McKelle cast her in the tradition of the Ninas and the Ellas. But McKelle has developed her own writing chops alongside her singing ones, to the point where The Looking Glass is her first album of fully self-composed material.

It shows her to be capable of a pop crossover, as on Stand Up, but also of mining the soulful depths, for example on I’m The One and Down Without A Fight. The comparison that recurs most readily is with Gladys Knight, which has only ever been a good thing.