(30 September 2000) Singer songwriter Jenny Bruce's debut album is aself-titled (Jennifer T Bruce (USA) JTB 25997, 1997) 10-track collection of heartfeltsongs lightly accompanied by acoustic and electric guitar. Bruce provides vocals,piano and acoustic guitar and is joined by Stephen QUinn (electric and acoustic guitar),Julian Harris (bass), Joy Askew (organ), "Nia" Regina Sharpe (drums) and Mr B (harmonica).Bruce's voice has a sensual texture balancing sweetness with a rougher texture and power that works well for the evocative styles of songs on the album and obviously led to hermaterial being selected for hit WB television series Dawson's Creek. The opening track to the album, "Music To My Ears," is played at the end of episode #321 ShowMe Love (original air date 21 May 2000) when Joey and Dawson are in Dawson's room. In addition to her debut self-titled album, Musical Discoveries was provided a six-track promotional EP from 1999 with tracks from a forthcoming album.
According to Jenny, "Almost every song I've written is inspired by my longingto connect with people. I talk to people on the street all the time!" Pretty courageousfor someone that lives in New York City! She continued, "I feel most creative when I'msurrounded by strangers on the subway or walking the streets of New York. That's when thesongs come to me." When you meet Jenny Bruce, her genuine smile and friendlydemeanor conflict with the stereotype of the hard-shell New Yorker. She was bornand raised in Manhattan and atteneded one of the City's elite private all-girl schools.Bruce began performing during high school but sought work and was discovered ultimatelyin Paris. She completed university at Barnard College and developed a large followingin downtown New York City. Her singing and songwriting style are perfectly suited tothe venues available there.
Songs from the debut album are sung with tremendous emotion with vocalscarrying melodies above the backing instrumentals. The album is a ballad lovers' delight with most songs sung slowly exploring the dimensions of Jenny's vocal talents.It is no wonder that she was selected as a runner up at the '99 New York Lilith FairTalent search. Comparisons to Paula Cole or Jewel have been made by other reviewers.Jenny tours extensively throughout the New York metro area; recent performances spana broad range of cafes and nightspots as well as universities. She has also playeda large number of festivals in the tri-state area.
The six-track demo EP struck us immediately with the richer productionsupporting the vocals and the uptempo nature of opening track "Soul On Fire." Additional vocal harmonies are also notable. Slightly more laid back but equally rich in production is "Human Condition," a lovely track with crisp percussion and vocal mixing Jenny's raspier sound with her more sweetly evocative style. Heartfelt ballads, in the style of Jenny's debut album, include "Home" and "Blue Angel"—either would be as comfortable on Dawson's Creek as the artist's first. "Anybody Out There" is one of the more dynamically arranged tracks similar to "Music To My Ears" in texture. The vocal harmonies perfectly support Jenny's searching lead. The EPconcludes with "Heaven.Com" a gentle ballad accompanied mainly by acoustic guitarbut led by crystalline vocals soaring to the edge of her range demonstrating hervirtuosity. Technical folks especially will enjoy the lyrics.
Jenny Bruce should be releasing her second album in the autumn of 2000. In the meantime, you can find further reviews, hear several sound samples and order Jenny Bruce's self-titled album from amazon.comhere. You can find further soundbites at the artist'smp3.comwebsite. Her music is certainly worth further exploration and we believethat our readers will agree that the debut album is a very nice listen!