Althea Rene
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Althea Rene


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The best kept secret in music


"“IN THE MOMENT” Althea Rene (Chocolate Caramel Music/SoulVibe"

Detroit native Althea Rene is a silky smooth jazz flutist who has played with the likes of Al Jarreau, George Duke, Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennett, Sheila E., and others over the past 11 years. She also was among those who performed during the Super Bowl festivities at Detroit’s Ford Field.

Though her sound is billed as contemporary urban, it’s spiced by hints of free-flowing Latin-Caribbean influences for a melodic, irresistible brand of soft-yet-assertive jazz.

On this, her third album, Rene performs a variety of original material, plus a cover of Beyonce’s hit, “Me, Myself and I.” And she has a sexy voice, too, as evidenced in her performance as a solo vocalist on “More
Than You Know.”

Simply put, Rene offers a breezy sound that’s captivating, easy on the ears, and alluring. Her improvisational technique comes across as natural and pleasurable. And she’s backed by a solid collection of horn players, guitarists, keyboard artists, percussionists, and vocalists who allow her to shine while adding depth and grace.

Tom Henry - Contemporary - The Buzz/ Toledo Blade

"CD Review: Althea Rene - In The Moment"

There's always a girl that somehow just has a spark to her. It's kind of like going out with the finest woman in the room, but realizing that her best friend is equally fine and much more interesting. A native of Detriot, Althea Rene is that other girl, and In The Moment should make them take notice.

As I imagine it, I see her entering the door of the Jazz club as that other friend in the title track. A very low-key smooth jazz track that while has a bit of the familiar, carries within itself a bit something extra towards the end. When she sits herself down at the table and you meet her face to face, you begin your getting-to-know you conversation. With "I Can," she lets her flute-playing slow down so that she can envelope you in her world while answering your questions as to whether she can be the woman you want.

Hearts begin to flutter with the surprisingly refreshing upbeat "Campari Juice" as you and Miss Rene begin to get more comfortable with each other. You two get to the dance floor and begin to sway to the song for awhile. Then, around the fourth song on the album, she's ready to sing to you.

"More Than You Know" brings Althea's sultry voice to the mic as she dedicates this one to someone who could possibly have a future with her. Now you seriously have an interest as you stand there and watch her tickle your soul with this song, but the night is unfortunately over and you have to go back to your girlfriend.

Throughout the days of your regular week, her "Midday Grind" helps you ease to a hip-hop beat through your regular work days. You play it in your bathroom as you ready to leave, and in your car as you battle the traffic. You even keep it on low volume as you slightly jam to it at your desk. You even play it again when you get to your car again and leave for home.

You forget about it until you come inside your house and find a message on your machine: she wants to spend some time alone with you at her place. On her track, "One-Night Love Affair", she lets you in with a smooth reggae touch to her voice and undresses you her own version of Jamaican soul.

After your session of love, you dance yourself down to your kitchen with "Number One" as you make her some breakfast and acquire the morning paper from her front door as she hums over the cool keyboard and flute melody that sets it off. After a short interlude from the story you've made with Miss Rene on "Me, Myself and I" (a remake of the Beyonce hit), you settle back into the daily grind of work and of your newfound relationships with "And She Said."

In this song, she shows you that she's not just a temptress with a nice voice, but that she actually has a move on her life. She wants the house clean, and she wants the toilet seat down with no fuss. After doing your part, she comes home happy to a warm house and an understanding partner in crime with "When You're Around."

What I've described is pretty much the feelings and events that make a relationship and even love itself. If that's what Althea Rene was attempting to achieve her with this album, then she succeeded. I only ask that you not judge the CD as another smooth jazz staple. Take a listen to the CD as a whole and you'll find a woman who's more than a single genre can define.

Matthew Milam -

"ALTHEA RENE - In the Moment"

In a genre dominated by saxophones, guitars and pianos, smooth jazz does have its small circle of flutists carrying on the work of Herbie Mann, Hubert Laws, Tim Weisberg and others—most notably Nestor Torres and Alexander Zonjic. Althea Rene, with her third CD, looks ready to join the group at the top while carving out her own niche, that of sensual, R&B grooves with a distinctly urban feel. Her latest shows a remarkable consistency of laid-back, quiet-storm intensity with memorable melodies and sprightly, compelling playing.

In the Moment is a smooth-jazz flute album for those who can’t imagine sitting through a dozen flute songs in a row. Rene varies the mood just right. There’s the picture-perfect smooth/urban title track, the hip-hop funk of “Midday Grind” and the ’70s-cool vibe of “When You’re Around.” Rene can sing, too, which adds even more flavor. And it helps that her husky voice is remarkably similar to that of the reclusive Sade on the tracks “More Than You Know” and the reggae track “One Night Love Affair.”

Her two covers are gems. On Beyonce’s “Me, Myself, & I” Rene’s vocals are softer and lighter. And with the breezy, percussion-driven “Number One,” the flutist nabs a gem from Patricia Rushen’s “Straight From the Heart,” keeping the irresistible Brazilian-tinged vocal scatting and reminding us that “Forget Me Nots” wasn’t the only great tune from that breakout album.

-Brian Soergel
- Jazz Times Magazine (May 2006)


"In The Moment" (2006) Chocolate Caramel Music & Koch Entertainment - Radio play on more than 70 stations nationwide - Listed in the top 50 of both the R&R chart and the SmoothJazz chart for more than 16 weeks - Downloads available on iTunes and other popular media engines

"Chocolate Rush" (2003) Chocolate Carmel Music - Independent Release - Radio play on more than 50 radio stations nationwide in 2003/2004. Downloads available on iTunes and other popular media engines

"Flute Talk" (2000) Independent Release - Downloaded via and sold online


Feeling a bit camera shy


Rene is a second generation musician. Her father performed with various Motown greats. She began playing the flute and studying classical music at age four. After years of study with Clement Baron of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Rene began to incorporate jazz and popular music into her musical repertoire. She went on to study classical music at Howard University. Afterwards, she changed her focus entirely and decided to embark on a career in law enforcement. Yes, Ms. Rene was also a deputy sheriff in Detroit (Wayne County) for more than 10 years. Eventually she realized that music was her true calling and she devoted herself completely. Rene won nationally televised talent contests on “Showtime At The Apollo” and Black Entertainment Television. In 2003, she released her debut album, Chocolate Rush, independently. She now co-owns the Chocolate Caramel Music record label that releases her music. Over the years, Rene has performed with such luminaries as Tony Bennett, George Duke, Ronnie Laws, Al Jarreau, Cassandra Wilson, Earl Klugh, Nancy Wilson, Herbie Mann, Kem, Sheila E, and Rachelle Ferrell.

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