SENSITIVE SOULS… Nicole Zuraitis: Pariah Anthem, Jen Chapin: Reckoning

Here are a couple female singer/songwriters that mix a bit of jazz with contemporary sounds. A bit of a throwback to the days of the 70s at the Troubador.

Pianist as well as a singer/songwriter, Nicole Zuraitis has a dark honeyed Jane Monheit style of delivery on this collection of originals. The styles of the songs are quite varied, from a hip hip-hop with Billy Buss’ trumpet on “Stinger” to a reflective “If Only For Today”. Modern R&B and funk has her assert herself on”Dagger” yet with Dan Pugach/dr, Scott Colby/b and Jon Paul/g she can sound quite gospel/folksy on “Try,Love” and wistful on “Watercolors.” A thoughtful  “The Bridge” displays her  piano skills quite impressively. A real delicate soul here.

NYC based Jen Chapin has a sandied tone to her voice, and her delivery has a quirky cleverness to it. Sleek and snappy material like “It’s All Right” and “Insatiable” have fragrant rhythms that set a nice milieu for her story telling. A bit of folk troubadour and Nashville earthiness comes out on “Let it Snow” and “Spare Love” while she sounds feisty with guitarist Libert Ellman on “Go Away.” The whole band of Ellman, Stephan Crump/g, Jamie Fox/g and Dan Rieser are quite flexible, able to deliver a nice reggae vibe on “Don’t talke” and a folksy hip hop on “Feed Your Baby.” Chapin can mix coy and confidence as on “Spare Love” and the intriguing “Gospel” using her voice more to tell tales than display chops.

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