This is singer-songwriter Nicky Schrire’s first release in ten years and she’s come a long way since then, both geographically and musically. Born in London, England, raised in South Africa and educated in New York, Schrire has made her home in Toronto for the last few years. Her previous jazz recordings had a healthy dose of covers from the Great American Songbook, with a smattering of originals, but Nowhere Girl’s 11 tracks are all (but one) written by Schrire.
Whether this is a jazz album is debatable, if you care about such things, but what’s not in doubt is the high quality of the songwriting, singing and playing. Supported by the Canadian jazz trio, Myriad3 (Ernesto Cervini, drums, Dan Fortin, bass and Chris Donnelly, piano) and local luminary saxophonist Tara Davidson, there’s plenty to satisfy jazz fans. Starting with the driving title track and finishing in a similar high energy style with My Love featuring Mozambican Julio Sigauque’s guitar work. In between is a collection of lilting, poetic songs delivered with Schrire’s pretty, unaffected voice that lends a somewhat Celtic feel to many of the tracks. Her travels inform a lot of this new album both literally, with songs like In Paris and This Train (about New York City), and also musically, as styles from various cultures subtly leave their marks.