Sara Caswell – The Way To You (ENG review)

Sara Caswell - The Way To You

I have never been a fan of jazz violin, but one should never say “never” because an artist like Sara Caswell can easily seduce any listener with 9 compositions on this jazz/world-flavored album, tinted with romantic shades. Let’s take a look at the references of this brilliant musician who undoubtedly serves as a source of inspiration for many young artists.
Elected in the DownBeat Magazine’s critics and readers’ polls every year since 2013, Sara has released two highly acclaimed albums under her own name – First Song and But Beautiful – and is releasing her third album in early 2023. She has been a part of groups led by Esperanza Spalding (Chamber Music Society), Linda Oh (Aventurine), and David Krakauer (The Big Picture), and has played and/or recorded with artists and ensembles such as the WDR Big Band, Brad Mehldau, Brian Blade, John Patitucci, Donny McCaslin, Henry Threadgill, Dave Stryker, Helen Sung, Miho Hazama, Christian Sands, Regina Carter, Kishi Bashi, and Bruce Springsteen. She is a member of Joseph Brent’s trio 9 Horses, Chuck Owen’s group The Jazz Surge, and the Caswell Sisters Quintet (a group she co-leads with her sister, vocalist Rachel Caswell). In 2013, Sara and Rachel joined forces with Grammy®-nominated jazz pianist Fred Hersch and recorded the album Alive in the Singing Air, which received rave reviews and was selected by jazz critic Thomas Cunniffe as one of the “best vocal CDs” of the year on Jazz History Online. Sara has performed at Carnegie Hall, Village Vanguard, Birdland, Jazz at Lincoln Center, SFJazz, Disney Hall, Barbican, and Blue Note (NYC and Tokyo), as well as jazz festivals such as Newport, Montreal, Montreux, North Sea, Banlieues Bleues, and Saratoga Springs, among others.

On this album, the compositions are pleasing to the ear from the first listen, with Celtic inspirations as her main weapon, sumptuous arrangements, and the delicacy of her violin playing particularly remarkable, making it an original album in more ways than one.
What’s even more impressive is that one can feel a live atmosphere that allows us to envision what this artist’s concerts will be like. The album ends with a superb Antonio Carlos Jobim piece, which Caswell performs on the Hardanger d’Amore, a violin/alto hybrid that produces a rich and resonant sound thanks to five sympathetic strings under the fingerboard.
Although she has been playing this instrument for nearly a decade, Caswell has only recently started incorporating it into more jazz contexts.
The Hardanger d’Amore has a rich, resonant, and haunting sound that brings out a different aspect of my musical voice. It took me time to experiment and discover how I could integrate it into my creative palette.
These are just some of the reasons why Bayou Blue Radio and Paris Move publications agree to award the album with their “essential” sticker.

Thierry Docmac
Correspondent in USA
Bayou Blue News – Bayou Blue Radio – Paris-Move

PARIS-MOVE, February 23rd 2023


Album à commander/ acheter ICI

Sara Caswell(s website

Out March 3, 2023 via Anzic Records
Album Release celebration Sunday, March 5 at Birdland Theater, NYC