Cleo Laine and Jacqui Dankworth
Rebecca Coupe Franks
|Jennifer Lee (2015)|
(Photo by Billy Winters)
|Bay Area native Jennifer Lee is a quadruple threat: she sings with bebop precision and an impeccable feel; she plays both piano and guitar--she knows her jazz harmony; and has a wonderful memory for standards--and she's a writer of intriguing songs of which she herself jokes "everything I write is too hard for me to sing … [it's as if] my muse has an agenda to get me to expand as a vocalist".
Like Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan and Diana Krall, Jennifer came to singing only after she had become a trained instrumentalist. She attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, leaving with a degree in Art. After caring for her terminally ill father back home in the Bay Area, Jennifer had an epiphany: realizing that you never really know how much time you have, she determined to sing.
She eventually became the house singer at the Ritz-Carlton, and freelanced all around the Bay Area. She loves the bossa nova and the samba, and sings in Portuguese with a near-perfect Brazilian accent. To date she has two recordings with A-list musicians, "Jay-Walkin'" and "Quiet Joy".
It might sound like a cliché, but in Jennifer's case, it's true: her voice is like a sunny day. And in the unlikely event that she gets tired of the singing and the songwriting, she can always fall back on her visual arts: check her out her graphic side at www.buggzart.com.
|# 1||Mark Murphy||Kerouac, Then and Now||Eddie Jefferson/Take the "A" Train||Muse|
|# 2||Eliane Elias||Dreamer||Baubles, Bangles and Beads||Bluebird|
|# 3||Rickie Lee Jones||Pop Pop||My One and Only Love||Geffen|
|# 4||Paulo Bellinati and Mônica Salmaso||Afro-Sambas||Labareda||GSP|
|# 5||Toninho Horta, Chiquito Braga and Juarez Moreira||Quadro Modernos/Modern Portraits||Quadro Modernos||Telemar|
|# 6||Carmen McRae and Betty Carter||Duets||Sometimes I'm Happy||Verve|
|# 7||Bill Henderson and the Oscar Peterson Trio||Bill Henderson with the Oscar Peterson Trio||At Long Last Love||Verve|
|# 8||Felino||Putamayo Presents: Tango Around the World||Electrocutango||Putamayo|
|Book||Daniel Ladinsky, "A Year with Hafiz"|