Tag Archives: Tarpan Studios

US Review: Jennier Saran “Soulful Christmas”

12 Dec

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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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US Review: Jennifer Saran “Wake Up”

11 Dec

http://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=20478

Saran, Jennifer: Wake Up

Jennifer Saran is a Hong Kong based singer songwriter with a new album titled Wake Up, the follow up to her holiday album Merry Christmas, You Are Loved released in 2015. First things first. If you are solely into progressive rock you might as well stop reading this immediately as this is adult contemporary pop music with the occasional nod to jazz and soul. To prove my point the first time I put this in the player my wife replied, “this is nice.” She is not the biggest prog rock fan if you get my drift although she does like the occasional helping of Floyd and Rush. The album recording is top notch with the instruments and vocals very clear. On the plus side Saran does have a beautiful voice and she also gets help from the African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo on three tracks including the lead off title tune which also includes lead guitar from Carlos Santana. Here is playing is reserved and mostly set back in the mix although it is always a treat to hear the man play. The rest of the songs are mostly slow to mid-tempo balladic fair with ear candy choruses and lush strings.

My favourite song is the Billy Paul tribute “Me and Mr. Jones”, a nicely crafted soulful ballad and a real throwback to a bygone era. The synth solo in the infectious “Look At Me Fly” is also quite nice. The heartwarming “Old Cape Cod” is another nod to old time pop music.Being that I mostly listen to much heavier music I probably won’t play this much but over the holiday season this just might hit the spot when wanting something light and airy. And hey, my better half will likely appreciate it.Track Listing:
1. Wake Up (4:36)
2. Jesus To A Child Tribute to George Michael (5:11)
3. Really (4:10)
4. Me and Mr. Jones – Tribute to Billy Paul (4:50)
5. You Are My Star (4:25)
6. Too Young To Know (4:16)
7. Better Than Me – ‘for anjali’ (3:23)
8. Look At Me Fly (4:02)
9. Old Cape Cod – Tribute to Patti Page (3:30)
10. Try To Forgive (But I Cannot Forget) (4:24)
11. Lean On Me – Tribute to Bill Withers (4:42)
12. Grace Is The Champion (3:32)
13. I Will Always Be Your Home (4:16)
14. My Love and Devotion – Tribute to Doris Day (4:18)
15. Aad Guray (5:42)

Added: November 27th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score: 
Related Link: Artist’s Official Site
Hits: 28
Language: english

Narada Michael Walden’s 21st Annual Holiday Jam – Saturday, December 16 from 8 – 11 PM

8 Dec

Click image for tickets!

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https://www.facebook.com/events/704880383041384/

Herald de Paris: The Cindy Blackman Santana Conversation

28 Nov

Check out this great in-depth interview with CINDY BLACKMAN SANTANA!

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http://www.heralddeparis.com/the-cindy-blackman-santana-conversation/

TODAY’S VIDEO SHARE on Women of Substance Radio 10/30/17: “I LOVE YOUR ABS” by JORDAN HURWITZ

2 Nov

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http://www.wosradio.com/video-blog/2017/10/20/todays-video-share-i-love-your-abs-by-jordan-hurwitz

 

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WATCH NOW: Jordan Hurwitz “I Love Your Abs”

12 Oct

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WATCH NOW! On YouTube!

American Singer/Songwriter JORDAN HURWITZ proudly presents captivating and soulful pop, powerful melodies, and story-telling ballads that speak to the challenges people face in their everyday lives, and empower them to rise above. She is very excited to release her newest music video for the single “I LOVE YOUR ABS” off her latest LOVESICK. EP. Jordan recently completed her successful LOVESICK. tour along the West and East Coasts, showcasing this EP of six original songs that highlight her evolving musical maturity and continued depth in her songwriting. The “I LOVE YOUR ABS” MUSIC VIDEO will premiere at 6 PM PST on October 12, 2017 on https://exposedvocals.com/ and https://blackframeglasses.com/ A short teaser for the video can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFxQal-tQKc&feature=youtu.be

Produced and arranged by Narada Michael Walden (Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin), LOVESICK. was recorded at his Tarpan Studios and released through his Tarpan Records label. “Working with Narada is an incomparable and invaluable experience,” she says. “His talent and artistry take my music to a whole new dimension and continue to be nothing less than amazing.” LOVESICK. is JORDAN HURWITZ’s second EP working with Narada, following her Here I’ll Stand EP released with Tarpan Records in 2015. “I LOVE YOUR ABS” is Jordan’s second music video from LOVESICK., with her first widely-acclaimed “Riverbank” music video premiering earlier this year as part of the EP’s launch. The LOVESICK. and Here I’ll Stand EPs were preceded by Jordan’s debut album Infinity in 2013, and The New Me, produced by Marcus Barone, in 2014.

Reviewing LOVESICK., Russell Trunk of Exclusive Magazine said, “In truth, no matter if it’s the tongue in cheek pop song ‘I Love Your Abs’, the poignant ballad ‘Power’, the stoic Blues-feel of ‘Riverbank’ or even ‘Hurricane’, this new album is as good as anything Narada has been involved with, in my opinion. I mean, just ‘Lovesick’ alone, with its Latin beats, engaging hip-sway rhythm might just be as close to a genuine Top 10 radio hit as Hurwitz has ever been – and deservedly so, trust me.” He also had glowing reviews for Jordan’s Here I’ll Stand EP, saying “… [she is] so apt at creating musical visions to back her every lyric that it’s hard not to imagine her standing proudly alongside Taylor Swift at an awards ceremony one day.”

JORDAN HURWITZ uses her lyrics to work through the trials and tribulations of growing up. “I would be nothing without my lyrics. My songwriting is who I am,” says Jordan. “A finished song always brings resolution to my internal conflicts,” she notes. “The problems themselves sometimes never change, but my actions and perspectives do. Every song I’ve ever written carries the motif of being broken and finding the strength to rise above. Often, before I create the song I don’t have this strength, but the empowering lyrics play on repeat in my head until they become reality.”

Born and raised in Redwood City, California, Jordan spends most of the year in Miami, Florida, where she attends University of Miami’s Frost School of Music in the highly-regarded Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program. “Being a student at Frost provides me with the constant surroundings of extremely motivated and talented peers as well as professors, keeping me eager to better myself and my music. Frost is the perfect place to continue my music education and evolve my career as a singer/songwriter.” JORDAN HURWITZ can often be seen performing in venues around town as well as university-related events.

JORDAN HURWITZ’s musical experience began with piano lessons at age six, and has evolved to include drums, voice training, and guitar, all of which she now uses to accompany her songwriting. “Empowering myself with song was life-changing in itself, but that doesn’t even compare to the feeling deriving from other people relating to my songs. It gives me comfort to know that the issues I face are faced by other people, and it gives me a sense of pride realizing that with my music, I can help them feel better about themselves as well.” She released her first album of original songs at age 16, and hasn’t stopped writing or performing since.

JORDAN HURWITZ is always working on new music. She appreciates and is influenced by artists from many genres, including Billy Joel, Sara Bareilles, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson, and Lady Gaga. Stay on the lookout for more from this amazing new artist.

Visit https://exposedvocals.com/ and https://blackframeglasses.com/ at Noon (Pacific Standard Time) on October 12, 2017 to view the video’s premiere. Visit Jordan’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/JordanHurwitz

For more information about JORDAN HURWITZ, please visit her website and social media pages via https://www.jordansmusic.com/

To order LOVESICK. on iTunes please visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/lovesick-ep/id1180797229

To order LOVESICK. or any of JORDAN HURWITZ’s other releases on Bandcamp please visit https://jordanhurwitz.bandcamp.com/

For Press and Interview inquiries, please contact Billy James at Glass Onyon PR at (828) 350-8158 or glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Music Street Journal Track-by-Track Review: Jennifer Saran “Wake Up”

9 Oct

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“Jennifer Saran’s new album includes guests like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Carlos Santana and Narada Michael Walden. I previously reviewed her Christmas album. Her style of music isn’t really my kind of thing, more of an adult contemporary sound mixed with pop. Still, she manages to surpass that and make it work. If you really dig that kind of stuff, you will probably be crazy about this. I will say that there is quite a range of music on this set.

Track by Track Review:

Wake Up – featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Carlos Santana and Narada Michael Walden There is a tribal, almost reggae, vibe to this song in a lot of ways. It’s energized, catchy and classy.

Jesus to a Child (Tribute to George Michael) This ballad has a lot of jazzy sound in the mix. It’s a pretty cut that works really well. I suppose that it’s a little similar to some of George Michael’s music in some ways. That said, this was a song by George Michael. I prefer this version to that one.

Really Now, I’m not really a big fan of this. It’s too heavily based on modern pop music. It feels far too over-produced, too. It’s fast paced and catchy, but not enough to overcome the other problems. I’d consider this to be a “skip” tune.

Me & Mr. Jones (Tribute to Billy Paul) Now, this is very much a mellower jazz take. It works really well. In fact, this might be my favorite tune here. Of course, I loved the Counting Crows version of this tune. The Billy Paul to whom this is dedicated, though, is the person who actually wrote and originally did the song. Mind you, both that version and Billy Paul’s were titled “Me & Mrs. Jones.”

You Are My Star featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo We move back into tribal territory with this piece. I like the duet vocal approach on this song. It’s a nice change and effective number.

Too Young to Know More of an adult contemporary pop music piece, this is a fun number that works really well.

Better Than Me (for Anjali’) A pretty balladic number, this is classy stuff. It’s very much cut from the adult contemporary school of sound.

Look at Me Fly Another built on a bouncy pop styled arrangement, this is catchy and effective. It has a duet built into it. That is a nice touch and brings a soulful element to the table.

Old Cape Cod (Tribute to Patti Page) Given the dedication, you would probably expect a retro styled number. That’s exactly what we’ve got here. This is a ballad that feels like it could have been released in the 1920s or 1930s.The funny thing is, Page’s version was released in the 1950s and feels more contemporary than this one does.

Try to Forgive (But I Cannot Forget) This is another energetic pop tune. I like this quite a bit. It creates some nice contrast to the previous one because it’s a modern sounding piece.

Lean on Me (Tribute to Bill Withers) featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo This has a real tribal vibe here. While I prefer the original, I like the vibe of this one. It’s sort of a different side to the musical ideas.

Grace Is the Champion Another that has a modern pop vibe, this doesn’t suffer from over-production. I’d say that this lands more on the end of rock music than it does pure pop, too. It’s definitely a good tune. In fact, this is one of my favorites here.

I Will Always Be Your Home With a lot of strings in the mix, this blends a rock ballad with an adult contemporary one. I’m not crazy about the mellower parts of this, but I like it quite a bit when it’s more powered up.

My Love and Devotion (Tribute to Doris Day) This is precisely what you’d expect of a cover of Doris Day. It’s delivered in the style she operated within and sounds a lot like her. It’s definitely a slice of a long-gone time.

Aad Guray There is a good chunk of world music on this balladic number. I love the multiple layers of voices on this piece. While I don’t think this is the strongest number here, it has a sort of grounding quality that makes it work well as the final tune on the album.”

www.musicstreetjournal.com

Order or preview the album now on iTunes http://smarturl.it/wakeuplp

 
More information about JENNIFER SARAN or WAKE UP can be found at:
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