US Review: Jennier Saran “Soulful Christmas”

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Jennifer Saran

Soulful Christmas

Review by Gary Hill
When it comes to jazzy, adult contemporary type music, Jennifer Saran’s vocals are just about the best around these days. She seems to have an affinity for Christmas music because I previously reviewed another holiday set from her (in addition to other music of hers I’ve reviewed). This is her brand new set of holiday music, and it is so strong. This will likely be part of my holiday festivities for years to come. The Temptations are featured on the opening song, Narada Michael Walden is a big part of this production, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Christmas Lover (featuring The Temptations)
This has a cool, slow soulful groove. It’s all class.
Sleigh Ride
I love the classy jazz arrangement on this tune. The holiday classic gets a great telling here, really.
Long Road Home for Christmas
This balladic number is interesting. It makes me think of some of the pop rock that was so popular in the 1960s. The harmonica adds a lot to the piece.
Swingin’ at Christmas Time
A bouncy and fun piece, this is another winner. It’s more modern in texture than a lot of the rest here.
Some Children See Him
Harp starts this cut. It works out with a slow moving and rather symphonic texture. The beautiful vocals are the real selling factor of this piece. There are mellow jazz elements at play.
Coventry Carol
Even more symphonic than the previous number, this is so pretty. It is a short instrumental.
Soulful Christmas
An old-styled soulful vibe really does shine brightly on this piece. This has a timeless, classic quality to it. It’s very effective. The horn soloing on this lends some magic to the number. It was a great move to make this the title track. It’s one of the strongest pieces here.
Soul Cake
This is so cool. It has a great Celtic folk vibe to it. Yet, it also has plenty of jazz in the mix. There are bits of traditional Christmas music added to the arrangement. This is another highlight of the set.
Where Are You Christmas
A particularly pretty song, this is another standout. It’s slow and a bit jazzy. It’s mellow and quite effective.
I Have My Own Reindeer
Jazz and adult contemporary music seem to merge on this. It’s a pretty cut that is entertaining. It’s just not on the same level of the last few.
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Only a minute and a half long, this is an instrumental on classical strings. It’s a pretty interlude.
Come Home for Christmas
A piano based ballad at the start, this is another pretty song. It’s a slow moving number with a lot of jazz in mix.
Merry Christmas to You
Jazz, pop and more merge on this cut. It has a bit of an electronic edge to it, but not enough to take the more organic vibe from it. This is a fun cut with a lot of energy. It’s one of the standouts here, really.
One More Christmas Together
A pretty, jazzy piece, this is another winner. It has such a great classic vibe to it. It’s packed with emotion, too.
Christmas Delight
A bouncy and fun number, this has a great soulful vibe to it. It’s not one of my favorites, but it’s still very strong. There is a short rap mid-track on this.
You Are My Christmas Star
A bit more modern in texture, this has a real soaring kind of vibe to it.
Frosty the Snow Man
There is a cool haunting vibe to this short version of the holiday classic. Saran’s voice is accompanied by only the sounds of winter and some chiming bells. It is incredibly effective.

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JENNIFER SARAN Launches her New Holiday Album SOULFUL CHRISTMAS with the Single “CHRISTMAS LOVER” FEATURING THE TEMPTATIONS

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For Immediate Release – San Francisco, CA – JENNIFER SARAN is a North American alt-pop/adult contemporary artist, songwriter, and vocalist based in Hong Kong. Over the past several years this versatile artist has put out several musical releases with notable collaborators such as Narada Michael Walden, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Carlos Santana, and her original songs and conscious messages have resonated with fans and media alike. During the holiday season of 2016, she released a double-single including the tracks “Merry Christmas To You” and “Soulful Christmas.” JENNIFER SARAN continues her tradition of holiday themed releases with the 2017 album SOULFUL CHRISTMAS, which launches the new single “CHRISTMAS LOVER” FEATURING THE TEMPTATIONS. Full of great original songs along with some wonderful holiday covers, SOULFUL CHRISTMAS will be available in stores and online in time for the holiday season, releasing worldwide on November 24, 2017.

SOULFUL CHRISTMAS was recorded at Walden’s legendary Tarpan Studios, in San Rafael, CA except for the “CHRISTMAS LOVER” single, which was recorded at Capital Studios in Los Angeles, including vocal sessions with Dr. Otis Williams and The Temptations. This new holiday single will hit the airwaves in late November, just in time for the 2017 winter holidays.

JENNIFER SARAN’S holiday-themed debut album Merry Christmas, You Are Loved was released in 2015 to many great reviews and widespread radio exposure. Shortly thereafter in 2016 she released her follow-up album Walk With Me, both of which were produced and co-written by the legendary Grammy and Emmy-winning Narada Michael Walden (Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Sting, George Michael) and released through his Tarpan Records label.

In the summer of 2016, Jennifer Saran teamed up with the South African Grammy-winning male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Narada Michael Walden to create the single “Wake Up.” Jennifer traveled to South Africa to record with Ladysmith and to film scenes for the song’s music video. Also, making a special guest appearance on the track is multiple Grammy-winning legend Carlos Santana. This stunning collaboration was a heartfelt appeal to recognize and address worldwide inequality and impoverishment, a cause incredibly important to each of the amazing artists involved, and proceeds benefit the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation. The “Wake Up” single and music video were released on November 11, 2016, and were featured on Saran’s third album, also titled Wake Up, produced and co-written by Narada Michael Walden and released in the early Summer of 2017.

JENNIFER SARAN’S music has had reviews pouring in from across the globe, and she has done interviews on both syndicated national radio stations in the US and on BBC 2 in the UK. The “Wake Up” single had wide reaching worldwide exposure and was reviewed and mentioned in a variety of magazines and websites including Songwriting Magazine, Women Talking, and an in-depth interview on BBC Radio 2’s Good Morning Sunday hosted by Clare Balding. The “Wake Up” music video aired on over 100 broadcast video outlets across the US, including rotation on California Music Channel, PC Music Pool and The Sound Chamber, reaching millions of viewers. On social media, the video has had over 100,000 views across Facebook and YouTube.

JENNIFER SARAN is as prolific as she is profound, and she is constantly working on new music. There is already a new full-length Jazz-themed album in the works, produced by NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN and scheduled for release in the Spring of 2018. Jennifer is the mother of 3 children, Paul, Phillip, and Anjali. She continues to write new songs and travels the world, trying to uplift, engage, educate and empower our future generations.

 

Check out the music video of JENNIFER and NARADA doing their original holiday song “Christmas is Really My Thang, released on her 2015 album Merry Christmas, You Are Lovedhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-D0Dp0rMhA

 

Pre-Order or preview the album now on iTunes at http://radi.al/JSaranSoulfulChristmas

 

More information about JENNIFER SARAN or SOULFUL CHRISTMAS can be found at:

http://jennifersaran.com

https://www.facebook.com/jennifersaranmusic/

https://twitter.com/jennsaranmusic

https://www.instagram.com/jennifersaranmusic/

 

For Interviews please contact Michael Jensen & Erin Cook of Jensen Communications Phone: 626-585-9575 – Email: MJ@jensencom.com Erin@jensencom.com

 

For Additional PR requests please contact Billy James of Glass Onyon PR Phone: 828-350-8158 – Email: glassonyonpr@gmail.com

 

For Radio inquiries please contact Adam Leibovitz at ASL Music Media & Promotion Phone: 949-448-9444 – Email: adam@aslmusicmedia.com

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Jennifer Saran to Release Double Holiday Single “Merry Christmas To You” and “Soulful Christmas” on Dec. 9

 

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These new songs were born from Saran’s great love of Christmas and a desire to add to the American Christmas songbook. Saran said, “As a little girl growing up in Chicago, Christmas was a big, warm, and exciting mystery. In nursery school and kindergarten, we all felt the love and joy around us, and the anticipation of Christmas morning was mesmerizing. As an adult, preparing for Christmas, I still always feel like that little girl, and every moment of the season holds that joy and anticipation.”

Narada added, “Christmas is our favorite time of the year! We had a ball putting these two songs together off of the upcoming album for our Tarpan Records Recording Artist Jennifer Saran! Hope you enjoy and have a very Merry Divine Christmas.”

Pre-order “Merry Christmas To You” and “Soulful Christmas” here:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/merry-christmas-to-you-single/id1178146499

A soulful, heartfelt singer with a passion for beautiful melody, Jennifer Saran creates moving, thought-provoking music which draws from her unique and powerful experiences. She recently released the single “Wake Up” featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Carlos Santana and Narada Michael Walden. It is a thought-provoking, heartfelt appeal to the world to recognize and address inequality and impoverishment, a cause incredibly personal and important to all the legendary artists involved. Recorded and produced at Tarpan Studios by Narada, the proceeds from this incredible track will be donated to the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.

Watch “Wake Up” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAzK3mAlmrA

Buy the song:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wake-up-feat.-ladysmith-black/id1161862170

Check out last year’s single by Jennifer and Narada, “Christmas Is Really My Thang” here: https://youtu.be/T-D0Dp0rMhA

Jennifer Saran and Narada

For more information on Jennifer Saran:
http://jennifersaran.com
https://www.facebook.com/jennifersaranmusic/
https://twitter.com/jennsaranmusic
https://www.instagram.com/jennifersaranmusic/

A Christmas Video Message from Jennifer Saran!

Download Jennifer’s new album “Merry Christmas, You Are Loved” available now on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/merry-christmas-you-are-loved/id1061239668

Jennifer Saran is a North American alt-pop/adult contemporary artist, songwriter and vocalist based in Hong Kong. Her first full-length album Merry Christmas, You Are Loved, will be available both digitally and physically worldwide with its release on November 20th, 2015. This album was created with legendary producer Narada Michael Walden, and is being released through his label Tarpan Records.

Since she was a young child, Jennifer has loved Christmas, and when she had the opportunity to work with one of the most lauded producers in modern recorded music, she jumped at the chance to create and release a modern Christmas album. Jennifer says: “Since meeting Narada Michael Walden I have been constantly inspired to write lyrics. Sitting in a pool in Thailand I was thinking about people I love that are no longer with me, or may not be able to be with me, and I wrote about it. I sent it to Narada with a ‘what do you think?’ He loved it. I called the song “You Are Loved”. He wrote a melody around it and we talked for a few days. And it hit me that my first full-length album “Walk With Me” was not going to be released until after the first of the year, why not make it a Christmas Song. I messaged Narada and said, ‘Hey, why not make it a Christmas song?” He said, “Cool! I love Christmas!” So we called the song, Merry Christmas, You Are Loved and now it’s a whole Christmas album.”

The album is a contemporary mix of brand new originals penned by Jennifer and Narada, as well as some very well chosen covers, all of which revolve around the central themes of love and family and the winter holidays. Musically, the album spans ballads to up-tempo grooves, including some swing and gospel influences as well. This album is a perfect complement to a family holiday dinner, or holiday radio shows all over the world. It features a handful of traditional Christmas songs like Oh Come Oh Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, and Hark The Herald Angels Sing to more modern covers of The Carpenters’ Merry Christmas Darling and the classic Baby It’s Cold Outside.

Narada enlisted some amazing musicians and performers for his band on Merry Christmas, You Are Loved including: Frank Martin (Angela Bofil, John Handy Band, Tuck & Patti, Jose’ Neto, Airto & Flora, Sting & Trudie’s Rainforest Band) on Keyboards, Angeline Saris (Ernest Ranglin, Zepparella) on Bass and Vocals, Matthew Charles Heulitt (Zigaboo Modaliste) and Jose’ Neto on Guitars. Additional Backing Vocals on this album include vocalists Nate Soul Sanger and Cornell Carter. All of the strings were arranged and conducted by Minna Choi of Magik*Magik Orchestra.

Jennifer Saran, aka Jennifer Hill, was born in Washington DC to a Canadian mother and American father. It was at the local Episcopal Church while at school in Villars, Switzerland, where she first realized how much she loved to sing, performing Handel’s Messiah a cappella. Jennifer went on to attend high school in Alexandria, Egypt, where she performed in school plays and learned to speak Arabic. She then attended The American University in Cairo, earning a Bachelors Degree in Political Science. Throughout her years growing up in Egypt she and her friends always followed the local Egyptian live bands that performed American and British pop music, dreaming one day of being a singer.

She went through a long dry spell away from music – raising children, working in various corporate roles, singing in the shower or car, rarely having any time to go out dancing. She was moved to Philippines for an international corporate role for 2 years, followed by Singapore for another 2 years, and then to Hong Kong where she has lived for the past 24 years.

Her debut full-length album Walk With Me was recorded and produced entirely at Tarpan Studios in San Rafael, California, by legendary producer Narada Michael Walden and will be released in March of 2016. Narada has produced music royalty like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin. With Narada’s music and Jennifer’s lyrics and vocals, they have created a tremendous debut album that is sure to captivate a worldwide audience.

For Music Samples or to order Merry Christmas, You Are Loved visit:https://tarpanrecords.bandcamp.com/al…

Check out Jennifer’s website for more information: http://www.jennifersaran.com

For more information on Tarpan Records or any of its releases check out: http://www.tarpanrecords.com

Interview Requests contact Billy James at Glass Onyon PR glassonyonpr@gmail.com 828-350-8158

Live Performance Bookings and Management contact Dave Ferguson at The Record Label info@therecordlabel.co.uk +44 203 727 7286.