Butterfly Blue

Review by Willard Maus

She can sing torch songs, down-home blues, pop ballads and spiritual anthems. Her name is Halie Loren and she is a multi-tasking marvel, as evidenced by the twelve tunes on her new CD, BUTTERFLY BLUE, which was recently released by Justin Time Records.

Loren, born and raised in Alaska, has lived for the past eighteen years in Oregon, where she has built quite a following. Now, thanks to BUTTERFLY BLUE, she has a chance at national recognition, not just as a singer but as a songwriter as well.

Loren wrote two extended songs for the CD, Yellow Bird and Butterfly, both of which deal with change and rebirth-–ideas which she explores in a tender, exquisitely beautiful way, keeping a jazz beat going to underscore her poetic images and thoughts. Loren also co-wrote (with the late Larry Wayne Clark) Danger In Loving You, a fiery ballad about a woman who’s willing to risk everything, even a broken heart, for love. Joe Freuen backs her up with a stirring gut-bucket trombone solo.

Loren also interprets four classic tunes on BUTTERFLY BLUE, including a memorable Stormy Weather. Then she switches to French on Charles Frenet’s I Wish You Love, doing some inspired scatting as well. Next she throws herself into a rousing, New Orleans-tinged version of Sarah Masen’s Carry Us Through, followed by a tour de force rendition of Horace Silver’s uplifting spiritual, Peace. (Justintime.com or halieloren.com)