At just 25 years old, Veronica Swift has built a résumé that even many late-career jazz singers would envy: tours as a featured vocalist with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Chris Botti; a guest collaboration with Michael Feinstein; engagements at A-list clubs like Birdland, Jazz Standard, Dizzy’s Club and Jazz Showcase; gigs at top festivals including Monterey, Montreal and Telluride, where she’s headlined. In 2015 she earned second place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition, the most prestigious contest in the art form. In other words, her command of the vocal-jazz tradition is astounding.
Now comes Confessions, Swift’s first effort for Mack Avenue Records and her proper breakout debut. On the album, alternately accompanied by Benny Green and Emmet Cohen, two of the finest jazz pianists of their respective generations, Swift showcases the powerfully expressive, deliciously evocative voice that’s garnered her so many distinguished opportunities. The result is a 12-track program filled with oft-overlooked gems that hold a special yet adaptable meaning in the young singer’s life. The trick, Swift explains, is to “share your story without getting too personal about it.