MIX OF ORIGINALS AND STANDARDS PRESENTED WITH WARM TONES AND A YOUNG PERSPECTIVE ON LOVE
Some singers sing to themselves, some sing to crowds. When listeners hear singer, composer, and instrumentalist Halie Loren weave her genre-spanning magic, they are convinced that she is singing just to them alone, with authenticity and emotional maturity. As she makes music with her voice, she understands the deepest meanings of the lyrics and communicates them with great intimacy. Still in her twenties, Loren has released several albums and toured the world singing jazz and pop. Her new album, Heart First (Justin Time Records), features long-time collaborator and co-producer Matt Treder on piano, Mark Schneider on bass, William Seiji Marsh on guitar, Brian West on drums, Sergei Teleshev on accordion, Rob Birdwell on flugelhorn and trumpet, Hank Shreve on harmonica, and Dale Bradley on cello.
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2011 was a breakthrough year for Loren, reaching unprecedented audiences throughout the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and Italy. Heart First was released in December by JVC/Victor in Japan and other Asian countries, where she will be touring in early 2012.
Heart First is a jazz-pop album with four original compositions, including, “A Woman’s Way,” which nearly became the title of the album. She adds standards such as, “Taking a Chance on Love,” “C’est Si Bon,” “Fly Me To the Moon,” and the beloved, “My One and Only Love.”
“I really wanted to have more original songs,” states Loren. “I started out with the intent of making a more bluesy album but then as the song selection narrowed down, I realized that I was taking a little bit different approach than I had expected. I was loving the way that the songs sounded when I played them in rehearsal and they ended up having more of a jazz-pop vibe.”
In explaining her choice for instrumentation on the album she says, “I wanted to have all the elements sound really natural and to have the different solo instruments shine. I love the sound of the air and the wood. These songs seemed to lend themselves to that acoustic sound.” As for the title of the album, which she co-wrote with friend and songwriter Larry Wayne Clark, Loren explains, “Thematically, I don’t tend to go with a topic but they all seem to have something to do with matters of the heart. I just love this record. It’s very personal.”
All this is the result of a little girl, age ten, at an arts camp in Alaska getting her first taste of performing. By the time she was fourteen and living in the Pacific Northwest, she was writing all kinds of songs. Crossing genres, and becoming comfortable writing and performing in each of them seemed to come second nature to Loren.
The accolades followed, winning songwriting awards in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and Billboard’s World Song Contest, for example. She also began collaborating and working with renowned and GRAMMY®-winning musicians, producers, and songwriters as a young artist, which helped to give her an insider’s view of the music industry’s many facets at an early age.
At the age of seventeen, as she continued to evolve musically, Loren took a leap forward and moved to Nashville to absorb yet another side of music. Soon enough, she brought her experiences from Nashville back to the Northwest, where she found herself going to college, writing constantly and performing in clubs with various combinations of combos as well as solo. In 2006 she was ready to release Full Circle, an album of her own tunes. Her follow-up in 2008, They Oughta Write a Song, won ‘Best Vocal Jazz Album’ at the 2009 JPF Music awards. Stages, a live album followed.
American singers can spend their whole careers in the United States and never taste the popularity Loren has achieved world-wide, particularly in the Far East. Her albums have charted at #1 on Amazon/Japan and HMV/Japan and have charted on both jazz and pop radio. In 2010 she made two tours in Japan, including as a headliner at the Ginza Jazz Festival while releasing After Dark, her 2010 album. Since then, she has followed up with two tours of Japan’s Cotton Club and Blue Note Club, and has been featured by some of Japan’s biggest print and media organizations.
Loren feels that she’s grown by leaps as a jazz vocalist. Her experiences on the road and playing with different musicians have helped her find her voice as a singer. “I take more chances now than I ever have before. It just came out very naturally in the studio, finding that focus and the storyteller’s voice moreso than the perfectionist’s voice.”
Loren is at the stage of her career when a universe of options is open to her. “I’m sure I’ll find other places to go with music that I haven’t even thought of yet,” says Loren. “I certainly don’t have one kind of voice. There are a lot of different kinds of music that I like to do and different ways of doing things. I feel it’s authentic and I have room to grow.”
Directions and ideas aside, Loren combines musical talent, empathy, and the loveliest of voices with one thing that can’t be taught — the ability to reach the listener and touch something deep inside them. Heart First accomplishes this exquisitely.
Halie Loren · Heart First
Justin Time Records · Release Date: March 6, 2012
..:: SOURCE: DL Media ::..
For more information on Halie Loren and Justin Time Records, visit: justin-time.com