Jen Chapin
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Jen Chapin

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""All Things Considered""

"Brilliant... soulfully poetic urban folk music... [has three] great crazy, sexy, cool love song[s]"
- Tom Terrell, "All Things Considered," National Public Radio, review of "Linger"

- National Public Radio


"about "Ready""

“Jen Chapin can sing the soul out of a concrete and steel city, her expansive, controlled vocal range, set above compositions that are as complex as they are mellow. The New York-based singer/songwriter's fourth release, Ready, gives the daughter of '70s folky Harry Chapin a medium to ruminate about the world, her life, and the impending birth of her son. The results are well-rounded, evocative and unexpected. Tempos shift beneath serene descriptions ("Strip It Bare"), sinewy violin pulls at the emotions of an expectant mother ("Let It Show"), and organic bass breaks echo like traffic in Chapin's home ("NYC"). Ready merges emotion and sophistication with the help of one of the freshest voices singing today.” - Relix magazine


"about "Ready""

“..Jen Chapin and bassist-husband Stephan Crump opted instead to anticipate the arrival of son Maceo by birthing their third and best disc to date. … worthy of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young when it comes to laying it on the line lyrically, there's much more to Ready than merely sweet reverie. Consider, for instance, the course grit of "NYC" (a sort of funkified variation on "Take Me Back to Manhattan"), the cunning political bite of "Election Day," the brave emotional vulnerability of "Strip it Bare" and the raw sexual heat of the title track. Get ready.” - JazzTimes


"about live performance"

.” As a live performer, Jen offers “an intensely emotional, sensual experience, almost embarrassing in its naked intimacy and vulnerability, in its invitation to listeners to think and to love along with her. She is a remarkable presence on stage...” -- Seth Rogovoy - Berkshire Eagle (MA)


"about live performance"

"Jen Chapin gave a magnificent performance..Backed by Stephan Crump on bass and Jamie Fox on guitar, Chapin and her two-man band gave a powerful performance that filled the Leighton Concert Hall with sound and energy on the uptempo songs and intimacy on the slower songs.
Chapin's supple voice moved deliberately and often through a wide range of notes and emotions throughout the concert, a bold and demonstrative instrument."

- South Bend Tribune (Indiana)


"about live performance"

“The band sounded jaunty and cool on “Little Hours”, the syncopated lead figure playing tag with Jen’s vocal. Some songs were political—a lament about apathy, for example—and several were just plain hot: “I’m ready for you to rock me ‘til the dawn then start again”. .. Jen sang in a conversational series of hip blues stutters, all while Crump played a funk groove behind her. Though the audience was seated, their asses were moving in their folding chairs .. It was no surprise, then, when the trio chose to throw out covers that were tensile-tough and grooving. Stevie Wonder’s “You Haven’t Done Nothing” was angry and blues-drenched at the same time, while Jen’s take on Van Morrison seemed to channel Jackie Wilson. When she turned to covering Bruce Springsteen’s iconic, political “Born in the USA”, Chapin seemed truly to be a kind of jazz singer—forsaking the written melody for a series of freely interpreted blues figures over Crump’s Mingus-like bass muscle. Truly, Chapin’s version let the audience hear the words in a fresh way, as a public mourning for the fate of an unpowerful man. Blues if ever there was blues. ..The trio could be tender, too, but hardly folky. “Let It Show”, the most memorable song on Ready, is a mother’s meditation on her baby son’s future, a piece of heartfelt advice. Chapin began it with a self-mocking joke—“Here’s another pretty song in C Major”—but then she faced the audience alone with her acoustic guitar, like a million other Joni-wannabes before her. The gentle guitar figure, however, masks a funk groove. When Crump joins, playing a stuttering root note on the one, the tender song gets an unmistakable groove on. And, ironically, in somehow defying the folksinger stereotype, Chapin is that much more like Joni Mitchell (the mature Joni), incorporating widely defined elements of the rock tradition, using jazz musicians as her mainstays, finding ways to use her voice just a bit like a saxophone. If she sounds like a caressing Stan Getz on “Let It Show”, then it’s equally true that she sounds like Coltrane on “Born in the USA” and like Cannonball Adderley on “Ready”. Not bad for a mere “folk” singer.” -- Will Layman - Pop Matters.com


"about "Linger""

"Her soothing folk-pop and thoughtful coffeehouse musings on Linger make this disc worth savoring... Chapin, a favorite on the New York City club circuit, brings an unhurried pacing and low-key charm to her tales of Big Apple life on songs like "City" and "Little Hours." She displays a light, sexy jazziness on numbers like "Me Be Me..." - People Magazine


"Entertainment Weekly"

"...Jen shares interior monologues, essaying common themes with uncommon wit and sweetly supple singing. And her band swings along with her mood... Makes you want to well, linger." - Entertainment Weekly


"Philadelphia Inquirer"

"Chapin's sophisticated jazz-pop paints hazy, romantic impressions that make for nice ambience... Linger is a collection of languidly seductive tunes. Cheerful and girlish, her voice is reminiscent of Joni Mitchell's... The title track serves as a manifesto for the whole affair: Over wistful strings and a midtempo beat, Chapin entreats her listeners to slow down, relax and enjoy life. - Philadelphia Inquirer


Discography

Light of Mine, 2008 (forthcoming)
Ready, 2006
Linger, 2004
Open Wide, 2002

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Bio

Jen Chapin’s music is urban folk — story songs that search for community and shared meaning, powered by the funk, soul and improvisation of the city. Critics have hailed her work on her albums Linger (2004) and Ready (2006) as “brilliant.. soulfully poetic” (NPR), “thoughtful.. worth-savoring” (People), “addictive” (Boston Globe), “smart, observant, lyrically deft, politically aware and emotionally intuitive” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel). JazzTimes has called her “a first-rate storyteller” while Relix regards her as “one of the freshest voices singing today." She has been featured on “Late Nite with Conan O’Brien,” honored by the USA Songwriting Competition, appeared on stage with Bruce Springsteen, and opened up for Bruce Hornsby and the Neville Brothers. Her performances are powerful, spotlighting the world-class musicianship and rare chemistry of husband/acoustic bassist Stephan Crump and guitarist Jamie Fox, with the frequent special addition of guitarist Liberty Ellman. As an activist, educator and mother, Jen also brings the knowledge and insight of varied experience (student/traveler in Mexico and Zimbabwe, BA in International Relations, longtime Member, Chair and Secretary of the Board of WHY – (http://www.whyhunger.org) to her workshops and presentations to college, community and church groups.

Light of Mine: the new album coming Spring 2008
Strange days indeed: recent years have brought us torture, wire-tapping, and a patriotism based on wearing lapel pins, shopping, and ignoring the constitution. Fear (or just the fear of fear) has made our thinking flat and closed and has perverted our national decision-making into something unrecognizable. We resign ourselves to powerlessness and fall into the arms of the strongman. We wait for answers to fall out of the sky. We keep our defiance safely contained to our blog screens.

Or we remember to make some noise. We reclaim our own sparkling power and responsibility, and remember to seek the truth, to protest, to create a real future individually and collectively, and to dream.

Light of Mine is 11 songs from the past 35 years that explore these notions of power and fear. The writers are Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, Van Morrison, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Sly Stone, Joni Mitchell, and David Bowie, while singer Jen Chapin contributes a couple songs of her own. The band is the critically-acclaimed “Rosetta Trio”, featuring double bassist Stephan Crump and guitarists Jamie Fox and Liberty Ellman. Political subtexts aside -- or are they front and center? -- this album is a groovefest, a playground of spirited dialogue, passionate expression and forward momentum.