When God Made Woman
It's not often that a new voice can combine striking original songs with the best production talent and a virtual "A" list of top musicians to create a panorama of sound and style in a debut CD, but Chicago's Alain Quinn does all of this and more with her "When God Made Woman." Five-time Grammy winner Elliot Scheiner (well known for his work with Steely Dan) and Mike Rivera (who's helped shape the Grammy-winning sound of both Celia Cruz and Marc Anthony) shared credits for the final mix. Quinn's "layers of sound" production generates the framework for her delicately sexy soprano: "my music is interesting, colorful, soulful, intricate and dreamy. I think you'll be surprised when you hear it." First and foremost, Alain Quinn is a songwriter and she uses her insight into the feminine psyche as a foundation for each of these 11 tunes. You need look no further than the opening song "When God Made Woman" to understand than Quinn's perspective is one that both men and women can relate to. As the song unfolds, we're treated to a new version of an age-old tale - but with a fresh take which incorporates woman's gift to the world, from the youthful innocence of a child to the mature wisdom of feminine tact. Quinn makes this point by using women of several ages to deliver the title phrase. And one man. This is storytelling at it's very best. And it's representative of the songwriter's talent, which sometimes carries her own life story into the process. Two songs, "Love Me Deep" and "Flowers of Eden" were written during the several years she spent living on the island of Rhodes in Greece - a period of creative cleansing which opened her up to a new culture an widened her appreciation of her own talents. "I caught on as an English teacher while in Greece, and I used song lyrics from American pop songs to keep the students interested and involved," she says. "These two songs came from within, but not necessarily from my experience." "When God Made Woman", isn't only about stories - the music moves effortlessly from song to song. Quinn's arrangements are clever and jazzy, with an easy rock sheen that seems to amplify her style beyond the usual. Try to define her music. You'll soon conclude that "listening" to Alain Quinn is probably the best way to describe it. Daughter of a musical family (her mother taught music and her dad was a jazz drummer), Alain recalls: "there was always music in our home. Classical, jazz, soul, R&B, you name it! So I studied music theory and voice and you can hear all of this influence on the CD." When it came time to record, Alain Quinn turned to some of music's best names" "I asked Peter Hennes and Fareed Haque to contribute their electric and acoustic guitar play, and bassist Richard Patterson took time away from his regular gig with David Sanborn," says Alain. "There's Trumpeter Orbert Davis, Keyboardist Tom Vaitsas, Khari Parker (who's toured with Boz Scaggs and Destiny's Child) and drummer Tim Hipskind (who's played with Brian Culbertson) share the traps, and dynamic percussionist Luis Quintero to help round out this stellar group. And Sugar Blue, who's probably best known for his soulful harmonica play on the Rolling Stones "Miss You" as a featured guest, I truly appreciate these people's gifts. Each carries something special in their music, and I think "When God Made Woman" reflects this," she said. Combine her talents as an inventive songwriter with a feminine viewpoint that resonates deeply with both men and women, and a coy, light-as-air voice with surprising earthiness and you have all the elements of a memorable recording. Listen to Alain Quinn and see if you don't agree. Buy the new album!