Block title

Work Samples

Alma Desnuda

Alma Desnuda is an original composition later adapted over the Italian-Argentinian immigrant Alfonsina Storni. The lyrics describe the many states of the human soul compared to the natural elements of the earth.

Sodade - Irene Jalenti (Boss RC-202 Loop Station Vocal Solo Live Performance)

“Sodade” means nostalgia, the never ending feeling of homesickness that only someone who’s not sure about returning to their home can understand. In this traditional piece from Cabo Verde, I decided to use my naked voice through the use of a loop station. By layering rhythms and harmonies with my voice, I present to the audience a pure and honest introspection into the fragility of my spirit creating a vehicle into my feelings of sodade to help remind people that we are not “legal” or “illegal aliens”, but humans. Just humans.

Mas Que Nada - Irene Jalenti (Boss RC-202 Loop Vocal Solo)

Solo performance of the Brazilian classic, Mas Que Nada. Original arrangement by Irene Jalenti. All harmonies were created and layered live with the support of a loop station. There was no post-production applied to the audio. This performance was recorded for Creative Cauldron in Falls Church, VA on August 2020. This was my first live performance post-lockdown.

"Humdrum Blues" - Irene Jalenti (Live Studio Recording)

Humor is extremely important to me, and when I discovered Oscar Brown Jr., I found my match. This tune was recorded in September 2019 with bassist Ed Hrybyk and it allows me to showcase more colors and aspects of my singing alongside the deep love I have for improvisation, which is at the core of Jazz Music.

Share:

About Irene

Baltimore City

Irene Jalenti's picture
Born into a family of illustrious Italian musicians, Irene Jalenti has followed a singular creative path as a jazz vocalist, songwriter and arranger who draws on an international array of kindred musical currents. Possessing a strikingly rich cello-like tone, she’s equally impressive improvising a scat solo or interpreting a song with soulful intensity (across five languages). While her sound has often been compared to international legends such as Nina Simone, Mercedes Sosa, and Beth Carvalho, her... more

Dawn

Vocalist and composer Irene Jalenti claims a place in the jazz world for her vast musical talents on her long-awaited debut album, Dawn, released on October 29, 2021 on Antidote Sounds. The album collects four of Jalenti’s scintillating originals along with six smartly chosen covers and a stunning array of Baltimore’s finest instrumentalists, including guest appearances by two international stars: trumpeter Sean Jones and vibraphonist Warren Wolf.

Although Dawn is her first recording, Jalenti has for over a decade been an esteemed part of the jazz community in the combined Baltimore and Washington DC areas. While fans, friends, and colleagues have often urged her to record her work, it was the recent COVID-19-imposed seclusion that finally let her conceive, develop, and execute a vision for her debut album. “It wasn’t until last year that I felt I had what it takes to make a record,” Jalenti says. Quarantine, she adds, “allowed me to have time to dig a little deeper into myself… what do I have to say? Who am I in this?”

The answers to those questions are on radiant display throughout the album. She plies her rich deep tones and masterly delivery to gripping performances of the standards “How Deep Is the Ocean,” “You and the Night and the Music,” and “Beautiful Love,” the latter two featuring Jones’s gleaming trumpet work. She also discovers new layers of emotion and meaning in the Brazilian classic “Carinhoso” and the Beatles’ “Let It Be,” and evokes an aura of profound mystery with Howard Blake’s “Walking in the Air.”

That’s to say nothing of the joys and marvels to be found in Jalenti’s own songs. She offsets the constructive criticism in the lyrics of “That’s How the Story Goes” with a hard-driving scat line. With “Moon and Sun” she concocts a dramatic meditation on the cycles of day and night, and thus of life. On “Alma Desnuda” and “Dawn,” Jalenti demonstrates her imaginative knack for musical settings of poetry—here the words of Alfonsina Storni and Meleager of Gadara, respectively.
It is a testament to her artistry that Jalenti was able to attract such formidable talents to accompany her. Along with Wolf (who illuminates “Dawn”) and Jones (who appears on five tracks), she demonstrates great synergy with her ace working rhythm section of pianist Alan Blackman, bassist Jeff Reed, and drummer Eric Kennedy. In addition, Argentine American guitarist Cristian Perez puts his sublime stamp on two tracks. Together they help to elevate Dawn into a triumph by helping Jalenti to find and express herself. “My sound came out when I finally allowed my own music to come out,” she says.

Press Quotes:
JazzTimes Magazine - December 2021
by Thomas Conrad

Today, even though the worldwide jazz art form is vibrant, too many musicians record before they have something significant to say. Irene Jalenti is not one of them.

She was born in 1980 in Terni, Italy but was educated in the United States. She has a bachelor’s degree from Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and a master’s from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She has been active on the jazz scene of “the DMV” (the District, Maryland and Virginia) for over a decade. But she waited to make a record until she felt she was ready.
The wait is over.

Dawn announces the arrival of a distinctive, fully formed singer. Jalenti has a deep, complex, compelling voice and the emotional authenticity that only comes with life experience. She is well supported here by her working DMV rhythm section (pianist Alan Blackman, bassist Jeff Reed, drummer Eric Kennedy). Three impact players make appearances as guests: trumpeter Sean Jones, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, and guitarist Cristian Perez.
Jalenti writes some of her own song and composes musical settings for poems. (“Alma Desnuda”, by the Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni, is pure gliding grace.) But the best moments on Dawn are songs you thought you knew until you hear Jalenti sing them. Her dark voice reveals unsuspected nuances in familiar material. “Let It Be” is a newly triumphant testament. When Jalenti proclaims, “There will be an answer!” you believe her. “How Deep Is the Ocean?” is similarly personal and dramatic; her interpretation turns the song’s rhetorical questions into a powerful declarative ceremony. “Beautiful Love” is sheer exhilaration. Jalenti rephrases it into lines of irregular length. Then, with overdubs of herself, she lavishes upon it a choir of scatting voices. Then Sean Jones flies away with it.

Now that Irene Jalenti has started making records, let’s hope she won’t stop.

Midwest Records • November 2021
by Guido Crosetti

One of the good things to come out of the pandemic is it gave this Italian born, DC denizen the gumption to grab the reins and make her long over due solo debut. With a smart mix of songs from originals to modern chestnuts and an eclectic round of geographic genre splicing, Jalenti shows her familial musical roots can be passed down through the generations. A lively set full of nice surprises, this is the face of modern jazz vocal that keeps its roots in tradition. Well done.

  • Beautiful Love

    This is an original arrangement of the jazz standard Beautiful Love. The center of the key changes every 4 measure while keeping the melody true to the original version as mush as possible.
  • That's How the Story Goes

    This is an original tune inspired by the great work of Hard-bop artists like Art Blakey, Benny Golson Horace Silver, and the Modern Jazz Quartet.
  • Let It Be

    This is an original arrangement of the Beatles' classic "Let It Be". The modulation from C to Eb creates an ongoing emotional movement.
  • Alma Desnuda

    Alma Desnuda is an original composition later adapted over the Italian-Argentinian immigrant Alfonsina Storni. The lyrics describe the many states of the human soul compared to the natural elements of the earth.
  • Dawn

    This is an original song inspired by the poetry of ancient Greek poet Meleager of Gadara. I decided to strip the arrangement to a very minimal element with the unusual combination voice, vibrophone, bass to convey the solitude of the lyrical context.
  • You and the Night and the Music

    This is an original and unusual arrangement of the jazz standard, You and the Night and the Music. I have a deep connection with Latin American music and I wanted to bring it to this piece alongside a moment of Flamenco.

Vocal Solo Material

During the long months of lockdown I couldn't perform with my colleagues and I foiund myself developing a solo repertoire that brought a new wave of creativity to me.
In order to achieve this, I utilized a loop station to which I later added the classical guitar.

  • Irene Jalenti @ Visioninmusica Live at Home 2020

    This "At-Home Live performance" was requested by the Italian festival Visioninmusica with the purpose of raising money to support the Covid-19 medical department at the hospital Santa Maria of Terni, my native town.
  • Imagine

    Arrangement of the classic John Lennon's song, "Imagine". I decided to make it into a jazz waltz to create more space for the words while keeping a steady wave of rhythm.

Connect with Irene

website:

Irene's Curated Collection

View Irene's favorite works from other Baker Artists