|Sharon Rae North|
|"Sassy, sensual, soulful and spectacular…Nina Simone with a little bit of Della and Ella tossed in for color" is how Jazz DJ Carmen Brown of 98.3 WDLT-FM [Mobile, AL] describes the vocals of Sharon Rae North on her new smooth jazz CD "The Way You Make Me Feel".
Producer/Arranger, Vic Smiley's familiarity with North's voice and style resulted in pinpoint accuracy in accommodating what reviewer Nina Goodrich of describes as "... a smooth delivery punctuated with impeccable timing and firm control over the flowing notes."
For this project Ohio-born, now Atlanta-based, Sharon Rae North recruited a group of stellar musicians to create a CD that Goodrich predicts "...will rate high on the charts, crossing jazz, pop, Soul, R&B and find a home with hip listeners everywhere." Her accompanists include Vic Smiley on guitar; Niles McKinney, keyboardist for the late Gerald Levert; background vocals by Melvin Sephus of The Rude Boys and Jon Roberts on bass.
North executive produced the project and wrote or co-wrote all but two of the songs. She delivers a slow, haunting rendition of Three Dog Night's "One", and a jazzy-bluesy, very memorable cover of Donny Hathaway's "We’re Still Friends".
Sharon has opened for major artists, such as Patti LaBelle.
Sharon has worked with Joel "Razor Sharp" Johnson, keyboard player for funk-masters Bootsy Collins and George Clinton, piano virtuoso Frank "Buzz" Amato, who accompanied Curtis Mayfield for many years, pianist Walter Bland, the only musician listed on the soundtrack of the HBO series Oz. Walter also has written scores for PBS shows and NPR programs. Others include, drummer Jimmy "Junebug" Jackson, who played with jazz great Jimmy Smith for nearly two decades, keyboard player Keith "Keecho" Rawls, who played for Peabo Bryson and for the UniverSoul Circus, and keyboardist Danny Jackson, who has produced for Grammy winning artist India.Arie. She also has worked with Michael "Kid Funkadelic" Hampton, lead guitarist for George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic and has done sessions with Clarence "Doctor Bob" Ross, the current saxophone player and back-up singer for the Isley Brothers and music programmer for Chaka Khan, En Vogue, New Edition and many others. She has performed with Jerry "Louie" Poindexter, veteran keyboard player for the "Godfather of Soul", James Brown and jazz recording saxophonist, Derwin Daniels. Derwin also produced Sharon’s first CD, a 4-song demo, has received airplay in the United States and abroad. After performing Get Here at New York's famed Apollo Theater, Sharon was asked by C.P. Lacey, also known as "The Sandman", to sit in with his nine-piece band. She performed a live duet with recording artist Cherelle and sang back-up at an event for singer/actress Rain Pryor (Richard's daughter).
Singing is North's passion. Perhaps that's why years ago her mother told her, "No matter what you do on the outside you're a singer on the inside."