Saran and longtime collaborator, Grammy-winning superstar producer Narada Michael Walden, are releasing a set of “dramatic and elegant” originals
During the past three years, singer-songwriter Jennifer Saran has gone from best-kept-secret status to being hailed as one of the freshest new voices in alt-pop/adult contemporary music. It started in 2015, when she turned critics’ heads with Merry Christmas, You Are Loved, her debut holiday album produced by multiple Grammy and Emmy-winning record maker Narada Michael Walden (Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Sting) and released on his own Tarpan Records.
Saran soon followed it up with Walk With Me, a captivating mix of luscious soul and R&B, co-written and produced by Walden, and next came Wake Up, an album brimming with consciousness-raising gems, including the globally recognized title cut that featured the talents of South African Grammy-winning male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the distinctive guitar playing of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and multiple Grammy-winning legend Carlos Santana. Continuing her winning collaboration with Walden, Saran released her second holiday album in 2017, Soulful Christmas, a delightful assortment of seasonal treasures that saw the singer joined by the Temptations on the single “Christmas Lover.”
Fans have been speculating as to what Saran will do next, and now that answer is upon us: Jazz. The Hong Kong-based singer has been working once again with Walden at his Tarpan Studios in San Rafael, California, writing and recording songs for Smoky Nights, a five song EP slated for release on September 20th, 2019 that will see her fully embrace the moody and melancholy genre that she’s loved her entire life.
“I’m so excited to be writing and
singing jazz,” Saran enthuses. “I’ve always been a fan of
Billie Holiday, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. And, of
course, there’s Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. The songs that Narada and I are
writing together follow in their traditions, the way they could blend darkness
with the gentle side of things.” She laughs, then adds, “Maybe I was born too
late, but I believe there’s a timelessness to this style of music. It’s
dramatic and elegant. I’m finding that this material feels very natural to me.”
Saran touched on smooth jazz with the aching ballad “Last Kiss” (from Walk With Me), but her new compositions explore the format more fully than ever before. Among the selections on the forthcoming EP is “Smoky Nights,” a silky and languid beauty that casts a seductive spell on a listener. Says Saran, “It’s about a feeling you have with another person. You want to be there and you want it to work, but you know it won’t. It’s about that hesitation. You see it before you, but you can’t go there.”
Likewise, the lush melody of “Don’t Forget My Name” coaxes and seduces as it glides along a graceful groove that ultimately builds to a crushing crescendo. “That song concerns a relationship that was good when it was good, but it has to be in the past,” Saran observes. “You have to go forward, but you hang on to the memories. ‘Don’t forget what we had. It was important and necessary.’”
Walden says, “It’s my honor to work with Jenn on this new EP and I can’t wait for everyone to hear her jazzy touch on ‘Smoky Nights.’ I know it’s a musical style that’s been living in her heart and soul for some time now. I call it, ‘something for the tender in you!’”
Of her ongoing creative alliance with Walden, Saran says that their work together at times feels like a dream. “We’ll decide to write a song, and it’s like we always know what the other is thinking,” she notes. “Narada will sit and play the piano, and I’ll write lyrics in another room. But I can even be miles away on a plane, not knowing what he’s writing. In either scenario, my lyrics always have a way of matching his melodies, and vice versa. It’s the craziest, most beautiful thing.”
Saran is especially delighted at Walden’s production work on the new EP, stating that “he’s pushing me harder than he ever has before, but in a good way. I was used to singing in a lower register, but on the first four albums he urged me to use the whole range of my voice, so I was singing higher, but in a softer, gentler way than you might expect. Now, he’s taking me back to where I was always comfortable. He really brings out the best in me. I’m really excited to have people hear what we come up with.”
Jennifer Saran releases her new Smoky Nights EP on Tarpan Records on September 20th, 2019.
For more information on Jennifer Saran please visit her website at www.jennifersaran.com
To order or pre-save this release on the digital services please visit: https://orcd.co/smokynights
Michael Jensen and Erin Cook, Jensen Communications, 626-585-9575, firstname.lastname@example.org