In her new album, Here’s to Life, Latrice Royale celebrates 100 years of jazz by channeling the genres’ greatest artists. It’s impossible NOT to picture Latrice performing in a smokey jazz club while listening to this album. Every song is filled with the same passion, soul, and sultry tones of the legendary greats like Della Reese, Ella Fitzgerald, and Etta James.
Here’s to Life opens with Ella Fitzgerald’s iconic classic, “Summertime.” And in all honesty, Latrice absolutely does the song justice. I’ve heard this song sung by a dozen different artists and I will admit, Latrice’s version has just replaced Rosemary Clooney’s as my all time favorite, aside from the original of course. It is incredibly rare for me to find an album where I love every song, but this is one of those albums. From jazz classics to showtunes, Latrice makes each song 100% her own, from the vocals to the musical arrangements. Her voice pairs so perfectly with the tinkling ivories and deep thumping of the bass, it’s clear she was born for this.
The title song, “Here’s to Life,” was written by Artie Butler and originally recorded by Shirley Horn and later Barbara Streisand.
The song really sums up my attitude on life,” says Royale. “Though it recounts struggles, it is celebratory at its core. I want to share some of the lessons I’ve learned in a heartfelt, optimistic way.”
I would say “Here’s to Life” more than succeeds in that regard. Check it out:
Latrice’s other favorite song from the album is “I Am What I Am” from La Cage aux Folles.
I’ve lived enough to justify being able to sing it and mean it, you know? So it’s fun and meaningful at the same time.”
With the help of her accompanist Christopher, the studio musicians, and her producer, Mimi Imfurst (remember her from RuPaul’s Drag Race?), Latrice was able to really channel her life experiences into this original arrangement. The result is truly inspirational.
Here’s to Life is available on Amazon HERE. For less than $10 you get an album that is truly a classic.