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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Jennifer Saran

Smoky Nights

Review by Gary Hill

Jennifer Saran always produces quality music. Her sound is based on the jazz stylings of the past. Yet, as this set shows, she manages to bring some freshness to it. Her vocals are always all class, too. This new set of songs is exactly what you would expect from her, and that's a good thing.

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Track by Track Review
Smoky Nights
With a bit of a modern texture, the sound and arrangement here is all old-school jazz. The cut has a lot of drama. This is pretty and classic in nature. It's like being thrown back in time, with a lot of style.
The Love is Now Gone
Mellower, this is packed full of emotion and style. The old-school jazz elements at the heart of this are classy. I love the piano work on the piece, but the vocals, of course, steal the show.
Let the Waves Wash over Me
Still set well in the jazz zone, this has more energy and a bit more of a modern edge to it. I can hear some nods to more of a fusion sound in a lot of ways. This is one of my favorite cuts on the set. The horn work really brings a lot of magic to the track.
Don't Forget My Name
While a lot of this is in a mellower vein, the instrumental movement gets more intense. There is a lot of style and charm built into this cut. It really manages to be particularly evocative.
Get over Yourself
With the sounds of a club in the mix, standup bass brings this into being. Saran's vocals come over the top of that backdrop, with no other backing. After the first verse other instrumentation joins to complete the arrangement. The cut works forward and builds on that concept as it goes along. This is quite a dynamic and potent piece, built firmly on old-school jazz stylings.
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