An eclectic mix of rare, timeless jazz standards and classic rock songs with a fresh jazzy twist, all tied together to create a vintage sound! Inspired by love for her family, friends and tea, Jennifer Zarine manages to blend classic romance with a mysterious quirk!
“Orange Colored Sky” kicks off the disc with a fun flavored classic in a swingin’ style, that is in keeping with the spirit it was written in, by composer’s Milton DeLugg and Willie Stein, published in 1950. The best-known version of the song was recorded by Nat King Cole (with Stan Kenton's orchestra). Zarine’s version has a retro-authenticity that gives the treatment an apparent charm.
“Have a Cuppa Tea,” a Ray Davies original made famous by the Kinks, opens with a whistling tea pot; enter Zarine, who playfully takes us on a journey explaining the importance of fun with tea. Not only is tea a cure all, but Zarine’s interpretation of the well-crafted and witty lyrics prove the theory, if your foot is not tapping by now, you are a true HUM-BUG! and need to turn up your FUN-DIAL.
“Paint it Black,” written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, is a mainstay Rolling Stones classic. Zarine gives this childhood favorite a complete facelift, creating a modern day sound that is warm, inviting and reminiscent of a Norah Jones recording.
“Sleep” is a Zarine original, filled with visions of far away places, and dreams of tomorrows. Zarine calls a surreal lullaby onto the sonic canvas, with dashes of color splashed throughout to transport the listener to a place of relaxation and serenity.
The last cut on the disc is, “That’s All,” an intimate duet rendition featuring Zarine and guitarist Eric Lindberg. This arrangement gives the listener the chance to experience Zarine in an exposed organic setting, allowing the song to have a chance to breath and Zarine’s vocals the opportunity to touch your heart.
Zarine has captured the essence of a timeless recording with an air of yesterday laced throughout, instantly giving you the feeling of being transported to another time. Fresh Made Cuppa Tea is a collection of fun, exuberant, touching and witty songs that are at times quirky, at times serious, and most of all, just plain fun. So grab a freshly made cupper and Zarine’s new CD, it’s the perfect anti-dote guaranteed to be just the right ingredient needed to spice up your day! Drink it in!!
Singer-songwriter Jennifer Zarine gives pop, soul, and classic rock a dose of smooth jazz treatments in her new recording Fresh Made Cuppa Tea. Produced by Zarine and Deena Kaye, Fresh Made Cuppa Tea is brewed to suit the ambiences of nightclubs, coffeehouses, and tea rooms around the world. Her selection encompasses a bit of everything from the classic rock domain of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards' hit song "Paint It Black" to the country-ragtime rhythm of Raymond Douglas Davies' peppy ditty "Have A Cuppa Tea" and the alluring sparkle of Smokey Robinson and Robert Rogers' R&B/soul tempered "The Way You Do The Things You Do."
The French twists of "Boum," penned by Charles Trenet, is crimped in slinky accordion swirls performed by Red Wierenga producing a sunny backdrop for Zarine's vocal nuances which accentuate the seductive lure of the French language. The torchlight flickers of "Something Cool" is slate in looping cello strands played by Eric Stephenson, while the soft glowing embers of "That's All" is wheedled from the gently brushed strums of guitarist Eric Lindberg. The smooth, cool jazz swagger of "Orange Colored Sky" is supported by the lounging grooves of bassist Ben Gallina and drummer Brady Miller sickled by bursts of energy from saxophonist Josh Rutner dotting the melody.
The placid tempo of "You're My Thrill" is trussed in lamenting keys and exotic sounding overtones which stake out a balmy aura rippling along Bernie Taupin and Elton John's classic tune "I Need You To Turn To" permeating a prayer-like sonorous in the entwining strokes of the cello and guitar. The softly glazed piano keys of "Smile/ I'm All Smiles" bend tenderly around Zarine's smooth vocal inflections while the feathery guitar strums outlining the lullaby-crests of Zarine's vocals in her original track "Sleep" are embellished by spools of splashing drum cymbals as Zarine intones, "Sleep beautiful boy... build your walls and watch them fall down / Burn your aching sorrows in the flames of love / You can trust me." The music embraces the soul with its dreamy tones in the vein of such gorgeous songstresses as Billy Holiday and Lena Horne, and Zarine's contemporaries like Rhondi Charleston and Meryl Romer.
Jennifer Zarine is all class with a touch of sassy vixen and a pinch of country girl sweetness. Fresh Made Cuppa Tea sets the mood to enjoy life's simple pleasures ad savor the feel of being whisked away in blissful aesthetics
-Susan Frances, Yahoo
Jennifer Zarine is an exciting and vibrant jazz vocalist and… I know, you’re probably thinking “John, you’re the guy who cringes at the thought of vocal jazz”, but give me a moment here. I call Zarine “exciting and vibrant” because she is a bubbly singer that does not do things by the book, which is when it suffers for me. What I like about Fresh Made Cuppa Tea (self-released) is that her approach is very much a freshly made cup of tea, and by adding a few new songs into the jazz songbook, it shows her strengths as a vocalist and as someone who has a good ear for knowing how these songs will work in her world.
When she takes The Temptations‘ “The Way You Do The Things You Do” or Elton John’s “I Need You To Turn To”, you begin to embrace the song in an all new way. If you’re familiar with the songs, it’s as if she’s entered the song to play, and she’s going to have a fun time at it. Even The Rolling Stones‘ “Paint It Black” jumps out at you, the tempo of which is almost done in half. Imagine Norah Jones taking the song and digging deep to explore its soul and essence, and you have that with Zarine, who doesn’t overdo it in this or any of the album’s songs. She could pull off the blues as much as she could do country, and I’d like to hear her do that in future releases. Her own composition, “Sleep”, talks about enjoying the comforts of sleep, as a means of rushing the time it takes to meet up with her lover. She hopes being in a dream state will make her see her man, but knows nothing is better than having that special someone in your presence. While it would be great to hear this covered by many artists in the next few years, I’d also like to hear Zarine’s own version get some attention.
Fresh Made Cuppa Tea is a jazz album, but it isn’t. It’s pop, it’s folk, it’s ballads, but it’s that and maybe it’s not. It’s a very good music album performed by a nice singer with a talent to add new accents to older songs, and someone who is also able to share her songwriting gifts with the world.
June 7th, 2010
This is Book’s Music
Midwest Record Recap
JENNIFER ZARINE/Fresh Made Cuppa Tea: With things so miserable these days, the best way to be subversive is to have fun. Zarine has a playful voice that knows how to make the most of it. A trained performer, Zarine knows how to give a classic song a super supper club reading that just makes everything feel rosy. A real mood lifter of a date, this is for those playful cocktail hours that are touch retro but made for lightness. Tasty, offbeat and a real gasser throughout.
Volume 33/Number 222
June 11th, 2010
Copyright 2010 Midwest Record
There is a storm brewin' in modern jazz, and Jennifer Zarine has just the remedy. Her latest, "Fresh Made Cuppa Tea", is a modern marvel of sound, taking some of the all time best songs and giving them a fresh twist before serving them up. You might just say she did them a lil' bit better.
With the bravadao of the past masters, Zarine weaves through Elton John, Charlie Chaplin and many others on the way to creating a work of art both timeless in it's delivery and stellar in it's appreciation of music at it's finest. I can't imagine anyone not finding a favorite track on this album, served up by both a student of the craft and a professor of good taste.
Of all the songs contained on this work, Zarine's spin on the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" is the best. She takes a rock classic and makes a flawless artistic statement, giving the track new life.
Modern jazz is better than ever, and some of the best in the genre are creating music's top works. Jennifer Zarine is no different, and "Fresh Made Cuppa Tea" should fit comfortably in your music collection as well as modern jazz radio playlists. Have a sip tonight.
Christopher Llewellyn Adams (5 Stars)
So many sound so alike in this genre – that’s not the case here. A saucy romp through standards both old and new, Jennifer Zarine displays not only her theatre background, but the rare ability to dial it back for the recording studio without losing the emotion.
Covering a lot of territory, from the Nat King Cole classic “Orange Colored Sky,” to Mick Jagger’s “Paint It Black,” Ms. Zarine and the guys manage to put their own stamp on this material, and stand out from that crowd.
The “guys” include Ben Gallina on bass, Brady Miller on drums, Eric Lindberg guitar, Eric Stephenson on cello, Josh Rutner on sax, and Red Wierenga on keyboards – including an accordion. Mr. Rutner’s background work on “Paint It Black” had me following him instead of the vocal for a while – it’s that good; and Mr. Wierenga has a nice turn on the medley, “Smile-I’m All Smiles.”
Other favorites include “Bye Bye Baby,” and Smokey Robinson’s “The Way You Do The Things You Do.”
The lullaby “Sleep,” is an original penned by Ms. Zarine that fits nicely with this group of eclectic classics – assembled like a Chinese Puzzle into a work of finished art.
Well played, this disc is very highly recommended.
Review: With the first notes of the first track Orange Colored Sky, you got the feeling that Fresh made cuppa tea, the new album from singer Jennifer Zarine, is going to be a fun ride. Fresh made cuppa tea is a delightful mix of Jazz standards with jazzy arrangements of Rock classics.
Jennifer Zarine vocals are playful, sexy and funny but always sincere. No doubt she enjoyed working on this album. The funny lyrics and folksy arrangements of The Kinks' Have a Cuppa Tea and the playful vocals on the French song, Boum will surely bring a smile to your face.
There is something for everyone on Fresh made cuppa tea. The swinging, vintage Jazz sounds of Orange Colored Sky. The beautiful, heartfelt vocals and classy phrasing of Something Cool, You’re my thrill, Smiles, Bye bye baby and That’s all. The entertaining version of The way you do the things you do and the cool, modern jazz arrangements of the Rolling Stones Paint it Black.
But besides being a wonderful singer, Jennifer is also a good songwriter. Listen to the enchanting music and vocals of Sleep, a lovely song that feel almost like a lullaby. Jennifer Zarine voice and music is definitely cool and fresh just like a fresh made cup of tea.
Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre