Sharon Rae North’s mother once told her, "No matter what you do on the outside, you’re a singer on the inside."
Passion and sophistication embrace jazz vocalist Sharon Rae North’s sophomore CD entitled “The Way You Make Me Feel.”
The CD is inspired by the many facets of love - good and bad - because love touches everyone’s life, says North. “The Way You Make Me Feel,” has been a labor of love for North, who took her time selecting and writing songs for the CD over the last two years. The result is a CD that blends classics like “One,” originally recorded by Three Dog Night, which North gives a unique ballad treatment, and Donny Hathaway’s “We’re Still Friends,” with original songs co-written by North and producer/guitarist Vic Smiley.
North was introduced to “We’re Still Friends” as a youngster and instantly felt a connection with Hathaway’s heartfelt rendition. “I knew if I ever did a commercial CD ‘We’re Still Friends,’ would be on it,” says North. The ensuing track is a stunning, bluesy version of “We’re Still Friends” that represents North at her sultry best. The full-bodied title track “The Way You Make Me Feel” is a silky jazz standard.
In addition to producer/guitarist Vic Smiley (Gloria Gaynor, O’Jays), North collaborated with a team of veteran musicians including keyboardists Christian Robinson (Fred Wesley, Mike Phillips), Niles McKinney (Gerald Levert, Regina Belle), Keith “Keecho” Rawls (Peabo Bryson, Jean Carne) and Vick Robinson (Men at Large, Rude Boys); saxophonist DeWayne Martin (India.Arie, Luther Vandross) and bassist Jon Roberts (Patti Austin, Earl Klugh). Background vocals on the CD were provided by Melvin Sephus (Gerald Levert, Rude Boys).
North, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, has opened for major artists including Patti LaBelle. She has performed at the famed Apollo Theater and the annual Bayfest Music Festival in Mobile, Ala. She has also headlined at numerous events, including the Summer Concert Series in Durham, N.C.; Jazz on the Lawn at Callanwold Fine Arts Center in Atlanta, Ga.; Isaac Hayes Nightclub and Restaurant in Memphis, Tenn.; and the legendary Twins Jazz in Washington, D.C.
“Sassy, sensual, soulful and spectacular . . . Nina Simone with a little bit of Della and Ella tossed in for color.” -- Carmen Brown, 98.3 WDLT-FM, Mobile, Alabama
"A smooth delivery punctuated with impeccable timing and firm control over the flowing notes.” -- Nina Goodrich, Jazzreview.com