Just in time for Valentine’s Day, internationally acclaimed pop/contemporary jazz singer-songwriter Jennifer Saran has released her ravishing new love ballad, “Rescue My Heart,” along with its gorgeous accompanying music video.
Fans of Saran’s 2019 jazz breakthrough EP, Smoky Nights, will luxuriate in the expansive track’s sensuous, languid instrumentation – it’s a wonder of understated elegance. As for Saran, she casts a beguiling spell as she explores the entire range of emotions in her material – each phrase is unique and performed with extraordinary command. Through the power of her impeccable voice, she radiates seductive charm and desire, yet there’s an aching sense of vulnerability and longing in her delivery.
On its own, Saran’s performance would be mesmerizing enough, but she shares the spotlight with an equally skilled singer who also happens to be her longtime collaborator and the song’s co-creator, Grammy-winning hitmaker Narada Michael Walden (known for his work with Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Mariah Carey, among others), who also plays piano, bass and drums on the track.
“Narada and I have worked together for a long time, so we know how to blend our voices,” says Saran, who points out that a duet with Walden came about by accident.
“We never actually discussed singing the song together,” she says. “We always knew there would be a female and male voice in the song – it’s how we wrote it. What happened was, I laid down my side of the vocals, the female side, and I left space for the male voice. Narada said he had an idea of whom he wanted to sing on it, so he laid down guide vocals. The thing is, though, he’s a tremendous singer, and he did such a great job that I couldn’t think of anybody replacing him.”
“I have to congratulate Jenn for doing a marvelous job on the track,” says Walden. “It’s been a real pleasure writing songs with her, as it is to now to duet with her. Since its inception, ‘Rescue My Heart’ has been one of my favorite songs. Wishing everyone who hears it a wonderful St. Valentine’s Day in the spirit of ‘Rescue My Heart.’ I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. Play it loud!”
Originally, Saran and Walden aimed to include “Rescue My Heart” on Smoky Nights, but they were faced with a good problem: They had too many great songs that could fit on an EP. “It was a tough choice figuring which song to cut,” Saran says. “We had a special feeling about ‘Rescue my Heart,’ especially given that we loved it as a magical duet, so we said, ‘We’ll put it out when the time is right.’” Saran considered releasing the song last year, but instead she focused her energies on the politically tinged “Get Over Yourself,” issued just before the 2020 presidential election. “Whether you’re singing about love or politics, you don’t want to diffuse your message. It has to be the right song at the right time.”
As it turns out, “Rescue My Heart” arrives in time for this Valentine’s Day just when people need it most. “I wrote it before the pandemic, but I think it’s especially relevant to how everybody’s feeling right now,” Saran notes. “We all want that closeness from people. We want hope in our lives. A lot of people are alone and they can’t be with the people they love. So you can view the song in a romantic sense, but you can apply it to anybody who’s important in your life – whomever it is who can rescue your heart.”
The sumptuous video for “Rescue my Heart” was directed by another frequent Saran collaborator – award-winning filmmaker Andrew Thomas – who weaves brilliant footage of Saran and her band performing at Mill Valley, California, in 2019, with captivating images that underscore the song’s moods and emotions. “Working with a compelling vocalist like Jennifer is always a thrill,” says Thomas. “Her performances always spotlight the importance of music as art. She gives a song fresh dimensions, and to represent that in a video demands a blend of imagery that layers ideas, rather than paints pretty pictures. In a sense, we imagine an inner dialog – a non-verbal
palette of thoughts and emotions from which the music emerges.”
Adds Saran, “Andy Thomas is just brilliant, and I always feel like I’m in such great hands with him. I conveyed to him that I wanted something romantic that wasn’t in-your-face, and he captured everything perfectly. I’m so thrilled at how this has turned out.”