I see the word “silky” is a common adjective to describe Ms. Ware’s vocal prowess. Personally though, I prefer the word genuine to describe the way this Vancouver based singer songwriter connects with her audience through original songs based on her own experiences.
Trust me. There is nothing fluffy about the way her vocals curl knowingly around the slinky pop/soul grooves of “Watch Your Step”. I’m gonna assume Ms. Ware has spent a lot of time and energy exploring the various colors and textures of her voice. The result is a rich, supple instrument that can swoop from subtle and coaxing to full-on diva (and I’m referring here to ability, not attitude).
She also shows excellent taste in old school and modern favourites. She performs a cover of Nina Simone’s “Turn Me On” with a smoky 3 am sensuality all her own. Her take on the Billie Holiday classic “You Don’t Know What Love Is” is both poignant and rueful while lacking the bitter aftertaste of the original. Even her slower songs (like the thought-provoking “Precious Time”) have a note of optimism. In fact, hope would seem to be a characteristic of her lyrics. If there is any justice in the world, this is just the start of a remarkable career.
-Rick Dennis, Cowichan Valley News and Views
Flora Ware receives GrIndie Award from RadioIndy
-Diane and the RadioIndy Review Team
Highly talented in the arts, singer/songwriter Flora Ware reaches well beyond the roots of jazz with her smooth vocal style on her latest album Insight. Ware’s voice is impressive with pure and polished clarity, yet there is a wonderful silky and sultry taste to it. She projects her voice with clean articulation only to be complemented by the dynamic and well balanced instruments.
Modeled for a night club scene with a soft and subtle atmosphere…Insight is an album that has the versatility to mix jazz with R&B and pop with progressive, modern touches. This treasure of exquisite songs will have listeners wanting more of this gifted artist, and is an album well worth listening to.
Insight review on JazzReview.com
Picture your home as a night club setting. Now picture who you would have on your stage singing at your night club home setting. Would it be Ella? Would it be Nina? Would it be Sarah? Canadian Flora Ware from British Columbia could make a case for being a choice with her second album Insight.
Ware has the silky night club sound down pat, but also incorporates some pop melodies…and she is at home with this. There are elements of the traditional jazz female vocalist in Ware’s delivery, but there are also elements of a pop delivery and it works on this album.
Writing or co-writing on five of the ten songs on this album also gives Ware another avenue to express herself. Her lyrics and sensibility and delivery shine though. To give you an insight on what your home night club could sound like, Ware is where you may want to start.
Gig review in The Weekender (Nelson, BC)
Though her roots are in jazz, her talent reaches beyond, and she slips seamlessly like scotch over ice into R&B and pop music, while never leaving her pure, silky, and dynamic style. Beside guitarist Cliff Maddix, Ware sits calmly under the warm lights and austere atmosphere of The Library.
The room is hushed but for Maddix’s strings and Ware’s effortless renditions of jazz standards. I can’t help but order myself another drink, sink back in my velvet chair and listen. Ware reveals bits of soul, a glimpse of diva and a subtle sprinkle of a gregarious performer we’re not likely to see this early in the evening. Keep an eye out for this wonderful local talent.
Insight review in BC Musician Magazine
If you’re up for some time traveling, Flora Ware is the ticket you’ve been looking for. Once upon a time the Fender Rhodes piano was an important part of the ‘soul’ sound. With Insight you keep checking the year on the calendar- hardly anybody makes records this suave and voluptuously soulful anymore.
Bjork and Leonard Cohen are admitted influences, but to me she sounds like a cross between Alicia Keys, Diana Krall, Sade and Madonna, with Madge’s pop sensibilities. Cabaret jazz it is- sort of- but Ware is too diverse to be cornered like that- smooth, seductive soul is probably closer to the center of it.
She’s been described as Alicia Keys’ and Ella Fitzgerald’s lovechild, and Flora Ware’s music is as cool (in every sense of the word) as that indicates.
If I had to sum up Insight in one word, it would be ‘cool’… the Rhodes sounding keyboard textures, the muted solo trumpet, subject matter and melodic twists suggesting 70’s-era soul along with Nina Simone’s jazziness. I’m willing to bet the rent that she’s exquisite live too.
Insight review in The Morning Star (Vernon, BC)
By Dean Gordon-Smith – Vernon Morning Star
Insight is music for dim lighting and calls for candles, red wine and a mellow, relaxed ambiance. This night-clubby album is the second recording from singer/songwriter Flora Ware. It is mood music with a slinky, sexy undercurrent.
This touch of mystery and an urbane beatnik aura is prevalent through the whole disc but seems especially strong on Beautiful Love and From Now On. Ware’s voice and songs are smoky smooth and tastefully restrained. This is due to an emphasis on unhurried phrasing and warm tone, and Ware blends sweetly with trumpet and fluegel horn, producing a languorous effect in Save Your Love For Me.
A jazz approach lingers on through these songs but seems more of a filter for material that is a blend of mature pop stylings and lounge-like grooves. These pop leanings and the use of electronic programming tend to create a Ray of Light- era Madonna effect on Feeling Good and How Did It Happen.
These are solid songs that stray into the contemporary pop/rock area. The low-key production adds a dark luster to the music and Ware’s uncluttered delivery is strong without the overkill that sometimes appears in R&B/jazz/pop singers. A gentle mood prevails on Ware’s Insight and the CD is a relaxed and sensuous little trip from the first song to the last.