What people are saying...

“For her debut release, Melissa Morgan wanted a gritty, retro vibe evocative of classic jazz vocal albums of the 1950s and ’60s. She also wanted to pay tribute to such heroines of that era as Nancy Wilson, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan. On both counts she succeeds admirably, thanks not only to her own mellifluous richness but also to a formidable rhythm section led by pianist Gerald Clayton and various assemblages of horns, including trumpeter Christian Scott on three tracks...But Morgan achieves more than mere mimicry or hero worship.  Where the breathless Wilson of the early ’60s seemed honey-dipped, the more audacious Morgan is decidedly salty.”
JazzTimes

 “Morgan is a consistent joy, and unlike some singers, she commands the band, not the other way around. Given the spicy edge in her sexy voice, her dry allure and the way she pops the words like a whip on a gospel choir, Morgan’s time has come.” ***1/2
DownBeat

 “You’ll hear elements of Nancy Wilson, Diana Washington and Dakota Staton in her sound, but Melissa Morgan isn’t copying anybody...with the help of her top-grade studio group, Ms. Morgan’s voice is a shaft of sunlight in our drab summer” *****
Evening Standard (London)

 “…a gifted, classically trained jazz and blues singer who can seduce and captivate with her voice alone. At 28, she combines the poise and maturity of a seasoned veteran with the infectious verve of a fresh new talent.  Produced by young trumpet phenom Christian Scott, who also performs on four tracks, Until I Met You is one of the most assured and enjoyable debut albums by any jazz singer in recent memory.”
 San Diego Union- Tribune

“Give your Norah Jones collection a break and pop in this 27-year-old’s debut CD of classic and obscure jazz tunes. Her sultry voice shines on Nancy Wilson’s ‘Save Your Love for Me’ and ‘I Wonder,’ in which she asks a past love, ‘Will your heart come running back to me?’”
RealSimple.com

“Melissa Morgan’s debut for Telarc exudes both confidence and skill in her interpretations of both standards and rarely heard gems, backed by a strong, young rhythm section anchored by pianist Gerald Clayton and guitarist Randy Napoleon. Her insistent take of Louis Jordan’s ‘Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby’ pulses with energy, then she follows it up with a delightfully swinging and expressive take of ‘Until I Met You’ (a vocal version of ‘Corner Pocket,’ which rhythm guitarist Freddie Green wrote for Count Basie), featuring a crisp understated solo by rising young trumpeter Christian Scott in a potent chart by trombonist Francisco Torres, who also appears on the track. Morgan’s sassy take of the blues ‘Cool Cool Daddy’ is equally convincing. As for standards, take your pick: Morgan's bluesy, slowly savored treatment of ‘The More I See You’ and playful, expressive interpretation of ‘A Sleepin’ Bee’ bring new life to these old chestnuts. This is an encouraging beginning for Melissa Morgan.”
AllMusic
 
“With a sultry, sexy voice, she’ll bewitch you with classic and contemporary songs alike, singing with an understated presence that belies her tender age. A semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2004, Morgan grew up listening to Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson—and it shows.”
Next Magazine

“A new voice, a fresh approach, and a wonderfully modern delivery of some delightful jazz standards. The opening track, ‘Save Your Love For Me,’ with Christian Scott’s exhilarating trumpet sound, is pure joy: rich, moody, sensuous and fabulously full of love’s beguiling charms—this is a winner. Buy this album and make this summer a special moment for you and your loved one.”
Hill Rag (Wash, DC)

“Melissa Morgan’s arresting voice, similar to that of jazz great Dinah Washington, cuts to the bone with feelings of heartbreak, simplicity and truth. She sings songs from their centers, then works her way out with clever spontaneity.”
Kalamazoo Gazette

“Every now and then, a jazz singer appears with a voice so filled with soul and deeper meaning that you wonder how you could have possibly survived so long without her. That singer is the irresistible Melissa Morgan…Morgan’s voice speaks with knowing sophistication; her mastery of innuendo is supreme. Backed by an excellent rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass drums) sometimes augmented by horns, she has an uncanny ability to infuse the classic jazz sound of the ‘50s and ‘60s with a contemporary sensibility. The title track, Buddy Johnson’s ‘Save Your Love for Me,’ is a total winner. ‘Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby?’ swings, and ‘He Loves Me I Think’ has all the smoky sophistication of a classic lounge act. On 11 selections that range from ballads to blues, Morgan grooves her way to stardom.”
Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity

Jersey Jazz

“Every once in a while, a jazz singer appears with a voice so filled with soul and deeper meaning that you wonder how you could have possibly survived so long without her. That singer is Melissa Morgan…Morgan’s voice speaks with knowing sophistication; her mastery of innuendo is supreme. Backed by an excellent rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass drums) and horns, she has an uncanny ability to bring a contemporary outlook to the classic jazz sound of the 1950s and ’60s…As Morgan grooves through 11 selections that range from ballads to blues, prepare to fall in love.”
Bay Area Reporter

“Many young jazz vocalists reach into the book of standards for their first recording. Melissa Morgan follows the tradition, but in a way that works to her advantage…The tendency of new recording artists to cover standards can work against them as they're not giving the audience anything they haven't heard. However, Morgan succeeds with the combination of her vocal style and free-spirited arrangements. Until I Met You, named for the Donald Wolf and Freddie Green classic, is an excellent introduction to Morgan.”
AllAboutJazz.com

“It is an impressive debut…Morgan has a big, warm voice, but she does not over use it. She has a fine rhythmic sense, and her phrasing tells you that she has listened carefully to those who preceded her. It is wonderful to hear a young singer who sounds like she would have been right at home had she been on the scene several decades ago…Her ‘Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby’ and several other tracks, including ‘I Just Dropped By to Say Hello’ have traces of the intimate sexiness of Peggy Lee. There are a lot of cuts here that will cause you to hit the repeat button.”

“Morgan may lack the world-weary wisdom her influences were able to impart to darker fare, but there’s a beguiling candor to her delivery. Technically adept enough to handle challenges with ease, she’s able to relax and allow her personality to shine through. It’s the difference between listening to a performance and listening to a person – in this case, a person with an extraordinary voice and an innate sense of swing. The results are absolutely delightful!”
BlogCritics

“Fans of vocal jazz will love Melissa Morgan. Her vocal tone is sophisticated and complex…This is one fans of vocal jazz should have in the collection, for sure.”
****1/2
MuzikReviews.com
 
“Once in a great while, and thankfully so, a project arrives from a fresh voice that is fully formed. From the first bars, you know it is something special – and far above the dozens of vocal discs you’ve sifted through recently that are ordinary at best. Such is the case here with Melissa Morgan, a young vocalist who was born in New York City, raised in northern New Jersey and now lives in Los Angeles. She was a 2004 Monk Competition semi-finalist. Telarc was wise to sign this singer, whose many strong influences meet at the intersection of Dinah Washington and Nancy Wilson. Her project is filled with very individual takes on vintage material, including Louis Jordan’s ‘Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby,’ ‘Cool Cool Daddy’ and ‘Save Your Love for Me,’ among others. These tunes have been around for a long time, but none of them are tired.”
Ken Franckling’s Jazz Notes

“The CD conjures the sounds of old-school vocal jazz from this newcomer with an old-school pedigree. Melissa’s earliest exposure to jazz was by way of her grandmother’s record collection when she was growing up, with some of the first jazz voices she ever heard from among those old LPs were Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson. Two decades after first hearing those classic voices, Morgan’s tastes still run to that heyday of the great jazz divas. Her debut recording, Until I Met You, scheduled for release on Telarc on April 28, 2009, captures that organic, old-school sensibility and reintroduces it to an entirely new generation of listeners.” 
EnjoyTheMusic.com

 

“This is a vocalist that grew up eating Nancy Wilson records for breakfast with a smattering of Sarah Vaughn and Carmen MacRae ground in for spice as well as dashes of other of the greats. With production and backing also evocative of the era, grandpa might not be impressed since he’ll be sure to tell you how this sounds compared to the original, but it doesn’t matter. This is for contemporary hipsters to play on their trip down to Coolsville. It’s one of those retro things that isn’t about being retro so much as it’s about being good. If you dig jazz vocal, this is sure to knock your sox off.”
Midwest Record

 

"This is a wakeup call. Melissa Morgan is a contagious true jazz singer and she simply grows on you with intoxication. I predict she is the one we've been waiting for."
Dr. Herb Wong