“Dawning and Daylight” is the kind of album that should be released on vinyl. It has that Southern roots feel to it, offering a slice of Americana that most contemporary jazz recordings eschew. Smooth but not smooth jazz, “Dawning and Daylight” is an alternative to the cookie-cutter commercialism that has infected the genre for decades now. Charmin and Shapira cover well-worn jazz staples with the no-frills arrangements and bluesy undertow that immortalized them to begin with.
Vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira make an attractive pair, and they seem to feed off one another. On “I Remember You,” Shapira’s slinky guitar weaves through the curves of Michelle’s steamy delivery. Michelle comes across like a female version of Nat King Cole; like Cole, there is an icy quality to her singing that stems from a profound heartache. On “Weep No More,” she is absolutely stunning, caressing the ears with tender, lovelorn singing as Shapira hypnotizes with a slow-hand groove.