Sendy Brown
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Sendy Brown

Washington, D.C., DC | SELF

Washington, D.C., DC | SELF
Band R&B Jazz

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Sendy Brown
Secrets of the Soul
PO TOLO MUSIC
Vocals, Sendy Brown; Piano and keyboard, Glenn Douglas; bass, Michael Bowie, James King, Walter Cosby; drums, Nasar Abadey, Jeffrey Neal, Aaron Walker; trumpet, Tom Williams; Congas, Kwesi Brown.

A debut CD for singer Sendy Brown, presenting a set of standards with a warm, vulnerable sound that is always enchanting. Sendy started singing in her Father's church in Jersey City, NJ., at age eleven, a featured soloist at church concerts. There is something tempting in her voice; Thelonius Monk's " 'Round Midnight" and Hoagy Charmichael's "Skylark", touches a personal ache that can linger. There is a stillness about her that makes her voice sound precious and resonant, "My One and Only Love", is an example. "Fine and Mellow" has a mean trumpet, but Ms. Brown, although letting her hair down on this one sounds far too nice to be 'treated mean'; a great number though. Indeed Tom Williams on trumpet has some splendid input throughout the CD; and the piano and keyboard of Glen Douglas is ever present in support. Finishing on an upbeat "In a Sentimental Mood", with the congas of Kwesi Brown, shows she has plenty of styles under her bonnet. Sendy Brown is an experience worth listening to; a fine singer.

by Ferdinand Maylin

- Jazz Now


"Secrets of the Soul" does nothing to conceal jazz vocalist Sendy Brown's gifts and influences. A collection of intimately arranged standards, the CD consistently reveals Brown's talent for warmly interpreting songs closely associated with Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Johnny Hartman and Frank Sinatra, among others.

Ballads are Brown's specialty, and as her performances of "Skylark," "Angel Eyes" and "Lover Man" illustrate, the more wistful and dreamier the better. Holiday appears to be Brown's guiding light, influencing her languid phrasing, heartfelt storytelling and some of the uncluttered, blues-tinted arrangements. Throughout the collection, the Howard University graduate never strays far the composer's intentions, and yet she often leaves the impression that the lyrics hold special meaning for her, which is no small trick given their familiarity. Accompanied by several kindred spirits, including pianist Glenn Douglas, trumpeter Tom Williams, drummer Nasar Abadey, and bassists Michael Bowie and James King, Brown seems perfectly at home in this setting, conjuring moods that are soulful and lingering.

Not that everything comes together smoothly. An updated arrangement of "In a Sentimental Mood" sounds more clunky than funky thanks to a rigid backbeat, and occasionally a swift tempo will get the best of Brown, prompting her to rush through a phrase. But quibbles aside, "Secrets of the Soul" is clearly something worth sharing.

-- Mike Joyce

Appearing Sunday at Twins Jazz. To hear a free Sound Bite from Sendy Brown, call Post-Haste at 202-334-9000 and press 8126. (Prince William residents, call 703-690-4110
- The Washington Post


Secrets of the Soul is a strong debut for vocalist Sendy Brown. A collection of 11 standards, the CD showcases Brown’s warm, assured interpretations of evergreens like "’Round Midnight" and "Skylark."
The Howard University graduate began singing in the congregation of her father’s church in Jersey City, N.J. By 11, she was a featured soloist. Brown continued singing the songs of Mahalia Jackson at area churches until she discovered her first jazz album, a Billie Holiday recording.

Holiday’s continuing influence can be heard throughout "Secrets of the Soul." Brown delivers an impressive cover of "Fine and Mellow." In addition, she sings in an intimate, understated way that turns lyrics into confessions.

The CD features a few up-tempo numbers, including fresh versions of "What a Difference a Day Makes" and "Our Love is Here to Stay," but Brown is most effective on the CD’s ballads, which highlight her storytelling abilities.

Brown is accompanied on the CD by Glenn Douglas, piano and keyboards; Michael Bowie, James King and Walter Cosby, bass; Nassar Abadey, Jeffrey Neal and Aaron Walker, drums; Tom Williams, trumpet; and Kwesi Brown, congas.

"Secrets of the Soul" serves as a solid introduction to Brown. - Jazzreview.com


Discography

Sendy Brown's 2004 CD, "Secrets of the Soul" received radio airplay and features the following classics:

What a Difference a Day Made
Angel Eyes
'Round Midnight
Our Love is Here to Stay
Skylark
When I Fall in Love
My One and Only Love
Lover Man
Fine and Mellow
Don't Go to Strangers
In a Sentimental Mood

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Bio

Sendy is a vocalist with an amazing voice and a warm, personable style that builds instant rapport with the crowd. Her gospel roots serve her well when singing R&B and Pop grooves, lending authentic soul to each song. Her work as a music director and music teacher have elevated her musicianship and professionalism to a high degree. Also, Sendy's many years as a jazz vocalist infuse everything she sings with an exuberant air of creativity in response to the moment - making her a true entertainer.

She first started singing at age five in her father's church in New Jersey, then went on to formalize her music education at Howard University in Washington, DC. Next, Sendy started collaborating with other musicians and singing in local DC jazz venues. "That's when my education really began," she recalls. "I'd sit in with bands or sing at open mikes just to hone my craft and develop my sound."

Sendy expresses this sound on her debut CD, "Secrets of the Soul." A collection of jazz standards reworked with Sendy's style and arrangement ideas, "Secrets of the Soul" garnered international airplay and positive reviews in the Washington Post and other publications. This illustrates the quality of her voice and the caliber of her accompanists.

But what Sendy brings to the microphone that sets her apart is passion. Whether it's joy or pain, love or loss, Sendy puts her heart and soul into each line, lyric and song - making the experience unforgettable. Backed by an incredible ensemble of musicians, Sendy Brown creates a total mood, perfect for the discriminating music-lover who desires to have more than just average background music at their event.

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