98

Jen Chapin/Stephan Crump: Open Wide

By

Sign in to view read count
Jen Chapin/Stephan Crump: Open Wide Like the popular “jazz” singer Nora Jones and some of the work of Cassandra Wilson, the music on Jen Chapin’s newest release on the Purple Chair Music label, Open Wide provides another example of the wide range of influences today’s musicians are confronted and how the boundaries of what constitutes jazz perhaps have been expanded. The typical elements that are often associated with jazz—bluesy inflections in the melody, complex harmonies, and swing are not readily apparent in Chapin’s music. Although her songwriting has a very impressive genetic precedent (her father was 1970’s singer/songwriter icon Harry Chapin) and she studied jazz at Berklee, Chapin sounds more like a folk inspired pop singer than a jazz diva on this CD.



What Chapin and her husband, bassist Stephan Crump, do provide is a pleasantly stark presentation of songs with very personal, self-absorbed, introspective lyrics. The minimalist approaches in fact enhance the presentation in that the listener may focus their attention on Chapin’s lyrics and voice rather than be distracted by a number of other musical layers. One drawback to this approach is that the 10 songs that comprise the approximately 39 minutes of music on the CD all sound relatively alike.



Jen Chapin sings with a wonderful voice that delivers a song in a clear unadulterated manner. Is Jen Chapin a socially conscious artist/musician? The liner notes to Open Wide indicate she is continuing her father’s vision of the eradication of hunger as part of a collective called World Hunger Year(’s) Artists Against Hunger and Poverty. Is Jen Chapin a creative poet/lyricist? The imagery conjured by her words would likely support that she is. Is Jen Chapin a creative writer of melody? The overly similar melodic content from one song to another on this CD may lend evidence otherwise. To what degree is Jen Chapin a jazz singer? Based on the evidence provided by Chapin and Crump on Open Wide, that is a question that cannot be definitively answered.


Track Listing: Hurry Up Sky, Open Wide, Way, Portrait, Gold, Don't Miss You, Passive People, I'll Take You With Me, NYC, Slow Tide

Personnel: Jen Chapin, vocals and songwriter; Stephan Crump, acoustic bass and noises

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Purple Chair Records | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Chasing Pixies" CD/LP/Track Review Chasing Pixies
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "El Viaje" CD/LP/Track Review El Viaje
by James Nadal
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "Piano Mating" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Mating
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 28, 2016
Read "Triple Exposure" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Exposure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Live InTokyo" CD/LP/Track Review Live InTokyo
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!