JENNA Monroe, the unique and gifted singer, pianist and arranger, thrilled and enchanted her audience with superb performances at the Chapel Arts Centre in Bath last Friday evening. Accompanying herself most skilfully at the piano, Jenna presented her spellbinding arrangements of the songs of Leonard Cohen and freedom songs usually known as spirituals. She gave us an astounding display of emotional shadings to Cohen’s poetry and brought new life and meaning to the freedom texts. The range and flexibility of the voice is stunning and reaches the heights when her sound becomes quasi-operatic. There was a special magic in her version of Cohen’s Anthem in which she wove into the tapestry a nocturne of Chopin. This reviewer has heard several versions of Cohen’s famous Hallelujah by well-known artists but none of these could compare with her heart-stopping rendition. There is a glowing aura around her that draws you deeply into her sound world. Jenna Monroe has star quality and there is every reason to believe that she is going places.

James D’Angelo is a musician, composer and sound therapist and is the author of The Healing Power of the Human Voice.