Fire

Cleveland-native Liz McComb has spent the past two decades as a celebrated Paris-based expatriate, performing and recording for rapt audiences across Western Europe.

Cleveland-native Liz McComb has spent the past two decades as a celebrated Paris-based expatriate, performing and recording for rapt audiences across Western Europe. Fire, her Stateside debut, makes one wonder how McComb, a dramatic alto and skilled pianist, has remained unknown here for so long. Dorothy Love Coates' standard "You Can't Hurry God" is equal parts swinging jazz and old-school gospel workout. "Whenever You Pray," one of McComb's eight captivating originals, is a smooth, soulful ballad, while "Don't Let the Devil Ride" is a blistering, bluesy rocker. McComb's masterful mix of R&B, jazz, and fervent gospel is stirring and sure-footed enough to stand in the company of Aretha Franklin's 1972 classic, "Amazing Grace," yet unique and singularly inspired. Racked by Chordant Distribution.—GE