Cornelious’s big voice rises out of her small frame with a take-no-prisoners sound. It slides, turns and dips in complete control, shaded by the appealing grit of fine sandpaper. She has some of the sass of Sassy (Sarah Vaughan), a taste of Abbey Lincoln’s honeyed lushness, and brightness all her own. The artist’s girl-from-the-hood attitude (curiously her hood is North Carolina) and obvious pleasure in performing are joyfully infectious. She leans into the music, letting it course through her, elbows almost pumping it out. Louis Armstrong-like growls are sexy. Her scat is freewheeling and accomplished—really, a third horn.
June 22, 2011