This album A Sleepin’ Bee by Lauren Kinhan was set in motion during Miss Kinhan’s years, as she listened to Nancy Wilson’s music with Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley; in particular Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley. The ten songs featured on A Sleepin’ Bee, sung with impeccable stylishness and eloquence by Miss Kinhan are characterised by vigorous and spicy swing and accented by a marked swagger even in the slower, more profoundly elegiac pieces such as “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I am”. Featuring beautifully crafted arrangements (by pianist Andy Ezrin and Miss Kinhan) of beguiling variety and sensuousness in every lovingly caressed phrase of Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley (among others), Lauren Kinhan’s love for one of the Princesses of Song’s music shines brightly.
Her chosen material, with one or two notable exceptions judiciously focuses on some of the most famous swinging numbers associated with Nancy Wilson. Listening to the way Lauren Kinhan seductively bends the notes in “Born to Be Blue” and “The Old Country/Passion Flower”, and how she sculpts the long sustained inventions of “You Don’t Know What Love Is”, it is clear that there’s not a single semiquaver and monumental Jazzy coloratura that hasn’t been fastidiously considered. Featuring her close collaboration with Mr Ezrin on piano, and the rest of the rhythm section that includes bassist Matt Penman and drummer Jared Schonig, and drawing in the high and lonesome trumpeting skills of Ingrid Jensen, Miss Kinhan has chosen wisely, bringing in musicians completely attuned to her Lauren Kinhan’s) inspired vision and artistry.
The elegance of the vocals by Lauren Kinhan, whether she is twisting and turning her voice to wrap it around ballads or swinging it around racier numbers, becomes part of a natural bluesy landscape that mixes beauty and sadness, imposing grandeur and the drama of earthy, visceral passion. In doing so she delivers a hugely powerful, at times even a gospel-soaked album of songs. And with an almost childlike, quivering tremolo at the end of perfectly chosen lines Miss Kinhan’s mellifluous timbre beguiles in these spacious arrangements of songs, taking us into a place of deep emotion with trusted and both inspiring and inspired musical friends.
Track list – 1: Let’s Live Again; 2: Guess Who I Saw Today; 3: A Sleepin’ Bee; 4: (You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am; 5: Never Will I Marry; 6: Save Your Love for Me; 7: The Old Country / Passion Flower; 8: Born to Be Blue; 9: You Don’t Know What Love Is; 10: Happy Talk
Personnel – Lauren Kinhan: vocals; Andy Ezrin: piano; Matt Penman: bass; Jared Schonig: drums; Ingrid Jensen: trumpet
Released – 2017
Label – Dotted ‘i’ Records
Runtime – 50:22