Lauren Kinhan & Sleeping Bee: In Tribute to Nancy Wilson
Andy Ezrin, Chuck Deardorf, and Timothy Rapp
The first thing you notice is her voice, and then her savvy choices. Lauren Kinhan possesses a rare and beautiful instrument, tough and tender, clear and fine-grained in every register, whether she’s dipping down into husky chest tones or ascending into silvery head tones. With her glorious sound, she could sing anything and make it a memorable listening experience. Whether on her own highly-acclaimed albums, as a 25-year member of the beloved vocal group New York Voices, or as co-founder of two diverse and inventive supergroups, Moss and JaLaLa, singer/songwriter Lauren has always forged her own path as a pe...rformer, composer and improviser.
With her latest, A Sleepin’ Bee on her own Dotted I Records, Kinhan once again steers herself in unexpected directions that is at once the first all standards collection of her career, a loving tribute to legendary vocalist Nancy Wilson, and unmistakably a Lauren Kinhan album – with all the unique perspective and idiosyncratic personality that has come to imply. Downbeat Magazine agreed, giving it 4 1/2 Stars in it’s February 2018 issue! If the sudden appearance of an album’s worth of standards in a catalog dominated by original songs comes as a surprise, the process of its creation is just as atypical. While Kinhan spent much of 2016 conceiving, rehearsing and workshopping the project, the circumstances of the recording arose suddenly through the auspices of her alma mater, Berklee College of Music. The session was an educational opportunity as well as a record date, providing a small group of Berklee students the invaluable privilege of observing and engaging in a recording session at the highest level.
First and foremost, though, A Sleepin’ Bee is a celebration of Nancy Wilson on the occasion of the genre-hopping singer’s 80th birthday. While Kinhan shares Wilson’s penchant for blurring stylistic boundaries, her choice of material focuses on Wilson’s early jazz albums, particularly her collaborations with Cannonball Adderley and George Shearing. Those recordings proved to be a jumping-off point for Kinhan, who utterly transforms these classic and obscure numbers with the help of pianist/creative partner Andy Ezrin and veteran producer Elliot Scheiner as well as a stellar band featuring bassist Matt Penman, drummer Jared Schonig and special guest trumpeter Ingrid
“Every single song in this collection hits a sweet spot of a different sort, but the most pleasing aspect of the recording is how it uncovers the stripped-down, soulful side of Kinhan's voice”
— All About Jazz.
To learn more about Lauren, New York Voices, Moss, JaLaLa, and her guest artist works, visit laurenkinhan.com