Alma Micic's video from "That Old Feeling," #30 JazzWeek's 8th Biggest Gainer
Award-winning jazz singer Alma Micic “personifies what jazz singing is all about, ” says Ron Della Cheese of WGBH radio. All About Jazz calls her “first rate, no doubt about it.” Now the sultry, uber-talented Micic has arrived with the sublime new That Old Feeling, her fourth recording and the definitive emergence of an important new voice.
Born and raised in Serbia, she began singing jazz and big band as a teen before attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music in the late ’90s. Following her years at Berklee, where she received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance, she moved to New York City, where she polished her ample abilities surrounded by top-class talent.
Beginning in 2004, she started cutting records: Introducing Alma (2004), Hours (2008), and Tonight (2013). Her studio performances were unanimously acclaimed in all the right places, with critical notices turning up in the pages of Downbeat, JazzTimes, the Boston Globe and the New York Times. But Alma also began to earn increasing attention from the stage, where she performed at the important jazz clubs as well as festivals and concert halls at home and internationally. All About Jazz described Alma’s performance as “confident, soulful, vulnerable, and rhythmically savvy with the most sensual vibrato you’re likely to hear.” She has received numerous awards such as the Cleo Laine Award for Outstanding Musicianship and the BRIO award from the NY Arts Council.
All of which points directly to her stunning performance on That Old Feeling, an album which does indeed produce feelings, just not “old” ones. Micic is nothing if not a contemporary stylist with a refreshing approach and modern flourishes. Her vocal skill is effortless and understated. Her timing and sense of melody are precise. Throughout the recording, her performances on classics like the searing “Cry Me a River” and the coy “Honeysuckle Rose” are bewitching. At times she sounds young and playful, at others she sings with the wiles of someone who has seen it all. Even on two Serbian tracks, one original and the Romany anthem “Solnishko—the only departures for Micic, but satisfying ones—she embraces peaceful and playful moments. She is flirtatious at times and solemn at others.
Joined by guitarist Rale Micic, bass player Corcoran Holt, drummer Johnathan Blake and vibist Tom Beckham, the ensemble performance is also impressively calm, with Micic’s accompanists surrounding the singer with a warm embrace. Recorded and mixed by Dave Stoller at Samurai Hotel Studio in NYC and mastered by Greg Calbi, Micic’s Whaling City Sound debut boasts an impeccable pedigree and is every bit the recording you’d expect it to be.