MUSIC: GENTLE WATERS

A SMART, SERENE DEBUT FROM SINGER ALANA DAVIS

There is something oceanic about the music of singer-songwriter Alana Davis, 23. Her enchanting debut album, Blame It on Me (Elektra), has a pacific calm to it, undulating with soft folk, light jazz and warm R. and B., and yet, beneath the serene surface, one senses a depth, a power, precious things hidden away like sunken treasure ships. In concert one gets more of a glimpse: Davis has a sensuous, sliding alto, young and vibrant, but infused with old, smoky blues. She is a major new talent.

Davis, the daughter of a black father (jazz pianist Walter Davis Jr.) and a...