Lenora Zenzalai Helm / Press

"When faced with the question, "Can anything good come from the Southside of Chicago?" there are two obvious answers: First Lady Michelle Obama, and North Carolina Central University Assistant Professor Lenora Helm Hammonds."

“Lenora Zenzalai Helm releases a spectacular Jazz single, “I Love Myself When I’m Laughing.” Helm, who is a highly talented vocalist, composer, lyricist, arranger, and teacher, based this single on the writings of Zola Neale Hurston. This inspiration creates a song that is soft and charming as Helm’s silky voice sings the poetic lyrics with a polished style and grace. She projects her strong vocals with expressive qualities that gently float above the relaxed instrumentation. You will find the lyrics will be etched in your mind as they speak of Hurston describing a photo with an amusing flair. This song will have you wanting to hear more from this fabulous Jazz artist. If you like smooth Jazz that moves with sophisticated style, then you will enjoy the single, “I Love Myself When I’m Laughing.””

"Helm’s repertoire included “Twisted” Charles Mingus’ ”Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”, “Cheek to Cheek’ Thelonious Monk’s “’Round Midnight” with the verse and “My Favourite Things”. She has an incredible four octave voice, and I’m told she can go above it. At times she stretches her phrasing of a word to the limit, and you think she’s not going to get back in time, but POW she comes back spot-on the beat. Her trio of pianist Ryan Hanseler, bassist Lance Scott and drummer Larry Q Draughn were ideal for her. Hanseler is not only a good accompanist but a first class soloist as well."

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