Toronto singer Delilah has been working at reviving the jazz standards she loves for over a decade. With her new EP, Delilah Sings Sarah +1 released in February, she’s even going so far as to name names. This mini-album is a tribute dedicated to the late and legendary jazz singer, Sarah Vaughan.
Delilah was born and raised in Bucharest, Hungary to a large Roma family, almost all of whom were also involved in music and performing. When her family immigrated to Canada, Delilah largely transitioned away from her native Romani folk music to the jazz for which her voice as clearly made, but she still gives nods to her gypsy roots such as on her Facebook page and in her second album, Gypsy Love.
Sarah Vaughan’s cheeky version of “Whatever Lola Wants,” is probably the most popular version of the jazz classic ever recorded. Delilah’s cover of the song more than does it justice as well, however, as her sultry smoky vocals capture the fun and sensual whimsy of its tone without trying to override any past incarnations. In this way Delilah both pays homage to the legendary Vaughan’s talent and makes this jazz standard her own.
Over the years, Delilah has done a good job of balancing her love for jazz with the feilty she feels towards her Roma roots. Incorporating jazz and Eastern European folk is not always the easiest job,but Delilah does it with her personality and her sense of fun, which is evident on this cover of “Whatever Lola Wants.” As far as her delivery of this jazz classic, however, it’s clearly all jazz, and one of of the best renditions of the song since Sarah Vaughan’s classic. Check out all Delilah’s releases on her website.