Regena Hoye – “Opposite” & “Sunday Ride”
Regena Hoye a jazz musician and author based in Hattiesburg, MS. She is the talent behind numerous jazz hits, including her sophomore project and soon-to-be-released EP, “Opposite”, set to drop officially on Friday, April 2, 2020. This latest EP is touted as marking a new path compared to Regena’s earliest recorded music. The variety of sonic flavors, brings a blend of both, the old and the new, and is a reflection of jazz’s origins with a modern twist both in terms of lyrics and style, with inspirations from artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and Nancy Wilson.
Born in 1948, Regena has been around the block more than a few times, and jazz music has captivated her attention from her earliest years, while she witnessed the rise and fall of many musical stylings and trends along her continued journey. Strangely enough her first studio recording occurred in 2012, due to a meeting with a talented producer who grasped her vision, which was originally born from music written to accompany Regena’s children’s book Miss Titta Nurse Chloe. This led to the recording of her debut CD “Soft Sumer Night”.
Recently we took a random dive into the “Opposite” EP, to see just where Regena Hoye’s musical voyage has taken her thus far. Right off the bat, on the swing of “Sunday Ride”, it was apparent that there is simply no denying the richness in Regena’s voice and with said richness comes an emotional palette of colors as diverse as they are beautifully complex. The singer sounds very comfortable here, mic-ed closely, and as result you’ll want to hear song again, and again.
Regena Hoye doesn’t miss a moment to exercise her vocality in commanding, but never overpowering fashion. This command is exemplified on the powerful title track “Opposite”, where the steady beat and the resonant horns play dynamically in perfect syncopation.
Things get more urgent and rhythmic on “Stop”, with the drums purposefully driving the momentum behind Regena’s understated and thoughtful melody line. It’s the juxtaposition of a rocking rhythm and cool vocal, which makes the song work so well.
A wave of smooth and soulful brass introduces the eloquent bounce of “Whose Show”, which moves along with a vivacious elasticity, as Regena Hoye further animates the proceedings with the vitality of her vocal cords.
“Hello” keeps the momentum going, with another up-tempo beat and colorful arrangement. The somber lyrical theme, which showcases the resilience of making it through hard times is played off against a joyful soundscape filled with hope. Yet another combination of opposites that work brilliantly together.
What Regena Hoy and her crew have achieved on “Opposite” is finding a way to preserve a hip attitude and a nostalgic connection to the past music, yet at the same time removing any feeling that the songstress is just trying on another generation’s music to see if it fits.
Atop these arrangements, Regena proves to be a stylist who’s gentle, luxuriant, and insinuating voice relies on the right context to feel strong or fitting for the song. There is no posturing – at her age she doesn’t need to – she just sings the songs, floating gorgeously above the instrumentation. Regena Hoye is a wonderful singer and this collection of songs shows her at her best yet.
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