The first time I came across Hong Kong based American singer Jennifer Saran was three years ago when I received her album "Wake Up" to review. The initial thing that struck me, other than the quality of the backing and production, was the excellence of her voice. Her own personal instrument allows her to sing almost any genre of music with a superiority that is difficult to achieve across all musical styles. Silky smooth, sultry at times but above all, pure quality.
Her latest offering is a five track EP entitled Smoky Nights. It is fairly heavily jazz influenced supported by some superb interludes of sax and trumpet. This is epitomised in the closing track "Get Over Yourself" and the delightful late-night listening "Love Is Now Gone" which is also my favourite track on the EP.
There is a sublime honeyed smoothness to all of the tracks here as Jennifer takes the listener on a journey of style and musical exploration. Her voice never wavers from its intended path and the backing band must be congratulated on the excellence of their support. The balance of voice and backing is about as perfect as you will hear.
I am slightly confused about the lyrics on the slow and silky "Don't Forget My Name" as the continual lyric throughout is "Don't Forget Your Name For Me. As Jenifer co-wrote this song, as she did on all of the tracks, I am sure there is a good reason for it, but I do not know what that is.
This is certainly an album that will appeal to fans of smooth jazz and soulful music. I was blown away by Jennifer's voice three years ago and continue to be so today. My only complaint would be that an EP of five tracks is not enough. Hopefully her next offering will be longer.
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