Anthony Dean-Harris, Nextbop

Vocalist Vivian Sessoms is preparing to release the second part of her debut album, Life, a project that started out as a jazz album and found new threads of genres to fit in along the way. What results from the Chris Parks co-produced album is a different sort of covers album that finds soulful songs you may have always loved and gives them that certain little turn you weren’t expecting. For example, check out Sessoms’ take on “The Best is Yet to Come” featuring Casey Benjamin. Give it a listen after the jump and be on the lookout for Vivian Sessoms’ Life II when it drops May 17th on Ropeadope.

“One of the underlying themes of the LIFE project was to record standards that have transcended the times (such as “Strange Fruit” or “Lush Life”) and are still very potent today.
I also love a beautiful melody, and the melody for “The Best Is Yet To Come” always struck me as an interesting one. It just climbs and climbs and doesn’t seem to have a true chorus. I’m not even sure if the form ever repeats, which immediately sets it apart from most standards that we know and the typical A-A-B-A form. I had an idea I was toying with, and Chris [Parks] suggested bringing in Shedrick Mitchell to help flesh out the arrangement, and oh man did he do it. It is easily my favorite track on this record. It features Casey Benjamin on saxophone, Kenyatta Beasley arranged the horns and played trumpet, Vincent Gardiner is on trombone, and John Isley is on sax, Shedrick Mitchell on keys, Chris Parks on bass, and Billy Kilson on drums. Adi Yeshaya arranged the strings with Charisa, the Violin Diva, playing all the parts. I hope you guys love it as much as I do.” – Vivian Sessoms,

Life II, the second part of vocalist Vivian Sessoms’ debut album, is out May 17th on Ropeadope. It’s available for pre-order now.

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