On 21 January 2014, Shanachie Entertainment will release Jennifer Holliday's highly anticipated label debut, The Song Is You, an enchanting collection of R&B and Jazz songs that showcase Holliday at her best. Shanachie General Manager, Randall Grass says, "Jennifer Holliday is one of the greatest voices of our time; her many fans are hungry for new music from her. This new album may be the most complete fulfillment of her artistry and her vision as she recorded it free from any pressure to fit a commercial format."
The Song Is You is Jennifer's first album in 23 years and it defies expectations. Produced by Daniel Moore and Jennifer, much of it is her take on standards but there are also previously unrecorded songs and lesser-known compositions. The dynamic vocalist draws from jazz, R&B, and Broadway but even when the song is well-known, her interpretation transports the songs into fresh territory. When Holiiday tackles At Last, for instance, a song that has been done countless times, one would think that there is not much new that could be done with this standard but Jennifer builds it into a hurricane of emotion that is ultimately transcendent. Her version of the Kern/Hammerstein chestnut The Song Is You, a song associated with Frank Sinatra, follows the template of Sinatra's classic Nelson Riddle-arranged recordings but Jennifer brings R&B testifying to the big band swing. Jennifer actually dedicates the title track to Michael Buble - who she affectionately calls "Mr. Wonderful."
But amidst the standards is a memorable pop ballad that Jennifer penned for Whitney Houston called The One You Used To Be. She also features a classic-sounding R&B song, Are You Leaving Me?, by an unknown writer that has only previously been recorded as a demo by Aretha Franklin and It's Not About You, a new song by neo-soul singer/songwriter Gordon Chambers. Other highlights on The Song Is You include a tribute to Marvin Hamlisch with a stellar version of Nobody Does It Better. There are showcases on the new release such as the lesser-known R&B tunes Love Is On The Way and Touch. Even when Jennifer sings the classic The Look Of Love, at some point she takes you to church, to the depths of her heart and soul in a way that only the great divas can.
The overall orchestration of the album equally matches the sublime artistry exhibited by Holliday. There are no synthesized string or horn sections; it is all high-end live string and horn players. It is a glaring reminder of what accomplished musicians and a great vocalist can create together.
Jennifer Holliday - The Song Is You - Track Listing
- Prelude...Invitation to Love
- Love Dance
- The Look of Love
- Prelude...Jenny's Serenade of Love
- The Song Is You (feat. Joe Gransden and the JG Big Band)
- Love Me By My Name
- Nobody Does It Better
- Prelude...Two Hearts "Real-Talk" In Love
- Are You Leaving Me?
- The One You Used to Be
- It's Not About You
- Prelude...The Promise For True-Love
- Love Is On The Way