RENE JONES: Chill Factor (Label:

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RENE JONES: Chill Factor

This sultry debut from Rene Jones demands attention from all discerning soul fans. Hailing from Georgia, Rene had her musical initiation in the church – and it shows. For one so young her voice is mature and soulful – instantly recalling Anita Baker. That Baker link will be most obvious on the album’s immediate grabber – ‘Everything I Need’. It’s a wonderful mid-tempo item with great beats and scorching sax interludes that might remind you of Kirk Whalum. But it’s the vocal that makes the cut special. Elsewhere there are plenty of smooth ballads – best typified by ‘Sensuality’. Dancers might be tempted off the wall by the mid-tempo title track or the two-step shuffle that is ‘You Know’. Other goodies include the light vibe that is ‘Summer Day’ (with a quasi-rap that may recall Jazzy Jeff’s similarly named epic) and ‘Stay,’ which features some great interplay with the backing singers. Indeed for an indie album, there’s been no stinting on the production and the songs aren’t the usual self-written, self-produced plodders you often get with this kind of thing. Take my word for it, here’s an album and an artist that deserves to be right up there with the big soul players. Find out more on
(BB) 4/5