Wednesday, 19 January 2011

In a musical wasteland crowded with posers, gimmick peddlers and rump-shaking pop tarts, singer, songwriter and vocal arranger LeNora Jaye stands out like a luxuriant diamond amongst the ashes. Possessing a soul-sweetened voice that evokes the magic of the 70s & 80's, LeNora’s original songs reconcile old skool R&B, street-wise funk and velvety Adult Contemporary soul, while her deep-felt lyrics capture the essence of modern femininity in all its wondrous complexity -- independent yet nurturing, strong yet alluringly vulnerable, cautious, yet capable of wild-eyed impulsiveness. Formerly the lead female vocalist for the Black Rock Coalition band Rhythm Republik, LeNora has opened shows for the esteemed likes of Teena Marie, The Meters, Roger Troutman & Zapp and Roy Ayers, while her solo career has found her sharing stages with some of the classiest names in hip hop, pop and soul, including The Roots, Floetry, India.Arie, Amel Larrieux and others.

Now, with the release of her independently produced solo debut album, the talented Ms. Jaye officially steps onto the world stage, with magnificent results. Featuring 16 original compositions and interludes, The Story is an answered prayer for the legions of doubters who thought they couldn’t write and sing ‘em like they used to. Assisted by a bevy of skilled co-producers including Steve Wallace, Thierry DeJean, Armand Tulumello (Astral22), indie-soul star Angela Johnson and Jonathan Lloyd & Douglas Glover (NewBlackMusic.Net), The Story heralds the arrival of a truly unique singer-songwriter. Asked if there is a theme to the album, LeNora contemplates for a moment, then replies matter-of-factly. “It’s a woman’s experience… an young urban woman’s experience.”

While The Story may chronicle the experience of a young woman, there’s no denying the album’s universal appeal. Discerning music lovers will relate to LeNora’s singular perspectives on life, love and sexual politics, not to mention her enviable ability to convey dignity without ever crossing over into finger-wagging preachiness. As its literary title suggests, The Story is an assemblage of revealing musical chapters authored by a truth-seeking artist.

With the long-awaited arrival of her solo debut album, fans can finally experience the performing magic of LeNora Jaye in their everyday lives. But for LeNora herself, the album symbolizes the realization of a lifelong dream. With its soul-stirring original songs and peerless vocals and performances, The Story marks the auspicious beginning of a recording career that promises to influence the shape of R&B to come.

“From the start, I always wanted to make sure that whatever I did was real and true to who I was,” LeNora says, earnestly. “That certainly applies to this record. I love these songs 100 percent, because I feel them 100 percent.” (Source: CD Baby)

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