Chicago native Lori Jenaire is a young artist who has paid her dues over the last decade and now appears poised to reap the rewards of her hard work. A vocalist and multi-instrumentalist (bass, piano and guitar), she has played the club circuit and served as a studio singer on commercials and with such luminaries as jazz guitarist Stanley Clarke. She also recorded a limited edition CD, Presence, in 1992, but has generally spent the last decade singing at corporate events and clubs in her adopted home of Los Angeles...until now.
In 2005 Jenaire released Within Reach, a tasty album of originals and covers that showcased her warm, deeply soulful voice. While currently being sold exclusively on Jenaire's website, several cuts received play as background music on the UPN show Girlfriends.
Jenaire's most obvious influences are Phyllis Hyman and Angela Bofill. The Hyman influence is particularly strong on "I Do" and on Jenaire's cover of "Magic Mona" (a fairly obscure Hyman cut from the soundtrack of The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh). Jenaire also handles the pop standard "I Wish You Love," the Stylistics' "You're As Right As Rain" and Bofill's "Under the Moon and Over the Sky" well, but she really shines -- and her own vocal personality comes through -- on the album's new material. "If You Were Mine" is a terrific midtempo that is tailor made for Smooth Jazz radio, and "For Love's Sake" and "Don't Need To Know" (both written by Jenaire) are sophisticated Urban Adult Contemporary cuts that she interprets beautifully, her smooth voice layering over restrained arrangements. These cuts also provide early indications of an extremely engaging "Lori Jenaire Sound" that I'm looking forward to hearing more of in the future.
In late 2007, Jenaire release Fruition, another tasty sampling of adult soul, including a combination of covers and original tunes.
By Chris Rizik