Hot House May 2018Hot House
A wonderfully versatile vocalist, Rondi Charleston has carved out for herself a delightful niche at an intersection of swinging standards, sultry torch songs and R&B-inflected fare. Capable of delivering ballads with a supremely velvet-coated intimacy and lush vibrato, Rondi also possesses the ample chops and vocal technique to deliver fast vocalese lines that enliven uptempo hard bop works. However, the space where she has proven her artistic mettle most uniquely lies in her songwriting. There, she has beautifully crafted stirring and memorable melodic fare paired with emotionally compelling lyrics, supremely highlighted in the originals on her 2017 release Resilience. Indeed, not since Abbey Lincoln have we seen a jazz vocalist with such consistently stirring original works; any performance by Rondi is well worth attending.