Nobody will accuse NY citizen Arlee Leonard to be an associate of jazz’s laid-back great college. A big-voiced hard bop/soul-jazz belter, Leonard provides preferred a full-bodied, passionate, gutsy design of singing. As the queens from the great college — Helen O’Connell, Chris Connor, Julie London, June Christy, Helen Merrill, Claire Martin, amongst others — are recognized for their usage of subtlety, restraint, and understatement, Leonard is merely the opposite. She actually is an intense and robust vocalist whose affects (either immediate or indirect) range between Dianne Reeves to Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald. Various other singers Leonard continues to be compared to consist of Dee Dee Bridgewater, Marlena Shaw, Abbey Lincoln, and Nneena Freelon. Leonard isn’t a jazz snob; she actually is mainly a jazz vocalist, but she actually is a jazz vocalist that has been inspired by R&B (traditional soul a lot more than high-tech metropolitan modern), blues, and gospel. Even though Leonard today lives in NY, the improviser was created in Oakland, CA, and elevated in the SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Bay Region. Leonard (who includes a three-plus octave range and will her talk about of wordless scatting) began performing blues, jazz, and R&B as a kid, so when she reached adulthood, the North Californian studied performing, dancing, and performing at the School of California at Santa Cruz. Sociology, nevertheless, was Leonard’s main — she examined the arts privately — as well as the vocalist graduated from UC Santa Cruz having a B.A. for the reason that field. But using a sociology level didn’t prevent Leonard from attempting to pursue a profession like a jazz vocalist. Therefore, in 1996, she relocated to NY, where she’s since caused trumpeter Marcus Printup and tenor saxophonist Don Braden. It had been also in 1996 that she began focusing on her debut recording, Crazy Honey. Leonard completed recording the Compact disc in 1999, and the next 12 months, she released Crazy Honey independently on her behalf personal label, Soulajazz Productions.