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Freedom Jazz Dance is a collection of my favorite standards to sing. From familiar ballads like My Funny Valentine to more obscure songs such as Duke Ellington's Sound of Love, this cd covers a wide gamut of jazz classics. The title track, in addition to being a fun song to sing, encompasses words that are historically germane to the development of this musical tradition. Having those two words - Freedom and Jazz linked together, gives insight into the journey and evolution of jazz music. Jazz, America's true art form, has a history that is rich, and it plays a critical part of America's culture and achievement.
 
- Dr. Cynthia J. Felton
 
"Jazz is America's Classical music."
Dr. Billy Taylor
 
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"Here is Cynthia Felton bringing the impact of her multi-dimensional human voice as she intertwines the roots of jazz, blues and gospel. A musician like Cynthia Felton, I should say Dr. Cynthia Felton is "beyond category", because in addition to her singing and arranging, Dr. Felton is Artistic Director of The Ethnomusicology Library of American Heritage, a library encompassing and illuminating the study of music in a social and cultural context. If there were more such soulful academics, our higher education would produce more inspiring teachers. Cynthia and I both believe that, as she says, "jazz music is high art" and, I would add, it continually self- regenerates both the musician and the listener anywhere in the world. That's what this music does. I'm 86 and the rejuvenating spirit of Cynthia Felton now adds to the sound that keeps me going."

- Nat Hentoff, Legendary Jazz Critic
At The Jazz Band Ball: Sixty
Years On The Jazz Scene
(University of California Press)
 
 
"An active educator, arranger-composer, and performer, Cynthia Felton demonstrates expertise in spirituals, ballads, and jazz standards (moderately tempo swing tunes and up-tempo compositions) on this, her third CD. As a vocalist, she is unique because she selected, arranged, and performed on the twelve selections that encompass the CD. All require deep knowledge of both the genre and tradition to produce an artistic and culturally correct performance.

Overall, on this CD, Felton displays her skills as both arranger and performer. In addition to her stylistic interpretations, ability to re-shape and re-compose diverse musical compositions, and spontaneous use of vocal concepts and techniques, Felton's musicality includes mood, feel, and sensitivity to all African-American musical genres, especially jazz."

- Eddie S. Meadows, PhD
Author of: Bebop to Cool:Context, Ideology, and Musical Identity.
Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2003.
 
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Felton Jazz Times 2012 Review

"Cynthia Felton's four-octave range and keen jazz instincts could easily sustain a solid recording career. But she is far too intrepid and dexterous a musical explorer to restrict her role to mere vocal brilliance."

- Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times

 
 
Freedom Jazz Dance
Music
 
 
   
 
Come Sunday
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Afro Blue
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Afro Blue

"Young Cynthia Felton is an impressive vocalist with a formidable falsetto. She takes on the Brown songbook, and she shines on her thrilling gospel tinged cadenzas, as on "Afro Blue".

- Kirk Silsbee, Downbeat


"On her debut album, Felton puts all that training to effective use. Hers is a pure, rich, vibrant voice – that can, as required, be bright and shiny as a new penny, as playful as a rambunctious kitten or as arresting as a thunderstorm rumbling on the horizon."

- Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times


"While academically impressive, Felton is more impressive as a musician and arranger, as evidenced on her self-produced Afro Blue: The Music of Oscar Brown, Jr."

- C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz


"Five MARVELOUS Stars! Jazz singer Dr Cynthia Felton makes a wonderful debut with an all-star cast that includes various combinations of Wallace Roney, Cyrus Chestnut, Ernie Watts, Patrice Rushen, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Terri Lyne Carrington, and more playing her attractive arrangements of Mr Brown's original songs and his definitive lyrics to jazz classics."

- RBS Prods, Amazon

Come Sunday

"Felton brings a lot of virtuosity to the task – range, a sense of drama, a fluent scat vocabulary, and the multilingual vocal skills of a soul, gospel and pop talent."

- John McDonough, Downbeat


"Two years after her richly promising debut, an astute tribute to Oscar Brown Jr., educator, jazz historian, and vocalist Cynthia Felton is back to pay homage to a more imposing icon, Duke Ellington."

- Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times


"Felton swings effortlessly, and she comes out swinging on the opening "It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing," singing wide-open with no governor. There is not a throw-away song on this collection."

- C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz


"If you think you know the essence of the influence of Duke Ellington on the world of jazz then take a listen to this new collection by the very beautiful and gifted jazz singer Cynthia Felton. Not only does this magnetic artist have a truly beautiful voice but she also knows how to use that gift to create amazing flights of fancy and depth of meaning in her approach to Ellington's music. The real clincher is that Felton is also the arranger of this survey!"

- Grady Harp, Amazon

Freedom Jazz Dance

"It's an impressive display…Felton has a superlative instrument."

- Kirk Silsbee, Downbeat




"Cynthia Felton's four-octave range and keen jazz instincts could easily sustain a solid recording career. But she is far too intrepid and dexterous a musical explorer to restrict her role to mere vocal brilliance."

- Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times


"Felton is now three-for-three with the release of Freedom Jazz Dance, a fine addition to her discography and an excellent showcase for her voice, which lives at the crossroads of pure jazz, soul, R&B and gospel music."

- Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz


"The lady can sing intimately, with all the innate rhythms of blues and jazz soaring when she finds it appropriate, and always puts the music in the right place. Beautiful to look at and to listen to. Cynthia Felton seems to simply have it all. Every song is carved out of sound and soul. This is a spectacular recording!"

- Grady Harp, Amazon


"Felton clearly appreciates the roots of the art form she holds dear. Both the technical ability and artistic soul to embrace jazz, blues and gospel into a uniquely personal statement, Felton's immense talent gracefully sidesteps standard categorization with the end result as an organic presentation of the soul. The zen like artistry of Felton knowing just what buttons to push and when to push them is a gift. Rarely taught, rather felt from a place well past the art and perhaps somewhere close to the soul. The original soul music. 5 Stars!"

- Brent Black, Critical Jazz