Capathia Jenkins

One Ounce of Truth

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The team of singer Capathia Jenkins and guitarist-composer-arranger Louis Rosen had previously collaborated on a musical project set to Langston Hughes lyrics, following it up with a dozen songs based on poems of Maya Angelou, and the suite "South Side Stories." On One Ounce of Truth, Rosen wrote music to fit the poems of Nikki Giovanni which is sung by Capathia Jenkins in her angelic voice. The mature lyrics deal with love, friendship, loss, sex, acceptance, and a poem that was originally dedicated to Nina Simone. Usually when poems are set to music, the results are somewhat pompous art songs, with the music being as awkward as the poems themselves. On One Ounce of Truth, Louis Rosen defies expectations and writes catchy melodies that fit the poems, even turning one poem ("I Want to Sing") into a 12-bar blues. Since little improvisation takes place, this is more cabaret than jazz although it has the feeling of jazz in spots. Capathia Jenkins has a beautiful voice with a wide range and could probably sing anything she desired. Louis Rosen's arrangements contain variety and are skillful although it is unfortunate that the other musicians are completely unidentified. The music on One Ounce of Truth, which is difficult to classify, is well worth exploring, particularly by fans of the writings of Nikki Giovanni.

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