Lady Laranah Phipps Quintet



Lady Laranah Phipps (affectionately known as LaLa amongst her peers) is a jazz soulstress with a touch of world music influence. She is one of the hottest new jewels in the East Coast jazz crown. Lady Laranah Phipps comes to the jazz arena naturally, as she is the product of the Newark, NJ jazz scene and the heir apparent to the Phipps Family Jazz dynasty, Newark, New Jersey's first family of jazz. The Phipps Family has enjoyed a long, prosperous and well documented jazz legacy both in the USA and abroad. Ernie Phipps, Gene Phipps, Sr. (her father), Nat Phipps, Harold Phipps, Billy Phipps, and Gene Phipps, Jr. have all helped to pave the way for Laranah (as well as countless other jazz artists) to step out onto the jazz stage with confidence and competence.

Lady Laranah Phipps brings to the table, her own distinctive sound, sense of phasing, timing, story telling, and a volcanic grasp of groove, which she sometimes tends to color with humor, sensuousness, heart wrenching pain, and/or soul stirring joy. Her straight-ahead approach combines tried and tested jazz improvisation with new and innovative ideas. Lady Laranah's voice is laced with a certain ancient Afrikan richness, which allows her instrument to soar with a distinct yet familiar soul and power. All of this, coupled by the fact that Laranah has a very charismatic personality and a regal stage presence makes Lady Laranah Phipps a true jazz vocalist and an inspiring entertainer.

Lady Laranah Phipps approaches her sophomore CD recording effort, The Woman In Me, with much creativity, style and grace. The project showcases Laranah's gifts for song writing and arrangements. A few of the original tunes penned by the jazz soulstress, included on the project like the two contrasting versions of "Save Me Now", a sultry minor jazz ballad and "Save Me Right Now", a funky soul jazz plea to be rescued from a charming and seductive lover/foe, "Jazz Does", a bebop and funk infused appreciation of what jazz is capable of doing to and for you, "Aint No Man Been 'Round (The straight up lying blues)" a humorous blues story about a young southern girl's attempt to explain her present condition, and "Sudden Love" a true Bossa nova love ballad, have already begun to become East Coast Jazz and Blues club favorite requests. Lady Laranah Phipps also serves up a few classic dishes like "Lush Life", "Straight No Chaser", "Caravan" and "I can Fly" a toe tapping, hand clapping, get up out your seat, home grown rendition of R. Kelly's, "I Believe I Can Fly". The Entire CD contains a total of nine tracks which feature Nathan Lucas on organ (track 2,5,7,8) Geary Moore on guitar, Billy Phipps on saxophone, Clarence "Tootsie Bean" on drums, Harold Phipps on congas, Radam Schwartz on organ (tracks 3, 6, 9) and Daryl Robinson on Keyboards (tracks 1 & 4) Lady Laranah's Debut recording effort Raising The Standards-live, (The Collectors Edition), is a collection of well known jazz standards performed and recorded in a series of live settings.

Lady Laranah Phipps enjoys performing and has shared the stage with many other local, national and international performers including: B.B. King, Take 6, Alfonso Blackwell, Baba Olatunji, Slide Hampton, Russell Malone, Bootsie Barns, Jack Bicknell, Jerald Veasley, Big John Patton, Corkey Caldwell, Amiri Baraka, Yoron Israel, Max Lucas, Frank Bey, Spiro Jiro, Tiny Grimes, Emory B. Tinley, Joe Scott and others.

In addition to her artistic abilities, Lady Laranah Phipps has served as the Production Stage Manager for the Jersey Shore's premier Afrikan American Theatre Company, The Dunbar Repertory Company, Production Assistant for the Count Bassie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. She Is currently the Cultural Arts Director for the Asbury Park Paramount Theatre and Convention Hall. Lady Laranah Phipps founder's credits include Sentaj Productions, an entertainment agency dedicated to workshops, information, public relations and special events, Flat 5 Records, LaLa Music Publishing Co, and Natty Island Entertainment. Laranah heads the vocal program at The Trinity School of the Arts in Asbury Park NJ. She is also available for private workshops for children and adults.

Lady Laranah Phipps Band (LaLa Land) travels as light as a duet or as heavy as a big band featuring some of the top and up and coming jazz cats from across the country, including (but not limited to) Piano and Bass or Hammond B-3, Guitar, Drums, Saxophone, Flute, Congas and on occasion, Back Ground Vocals.

The Phipps Family History

In the late 1930's the Phipps family emerged on Newark's jazz scene and began to position itself as a Newark jazz entity. Pianist Ernie Phipps led the big band The Marlarks of Rhythm with his brother Eugene Phipps, age 15, at the Savoy Ball Room along with The Sultans of Swing, Poncho Diggs, and other big bands. Later Eugene Phipps took over the big band, which included Georgie Auld and Laurel Gardens. Ernie Phipps played the local jazz scene until 1960. At age 17, Eugene Phipps, Sr. traveled with Billie Holiday, Joe Guy, Max Roach and Ike Quebec on a national tour. During the 1950's Eugene Phipps co-led the house band at the legendary Washington Bar, which also featured Babbs Gonzolas, Lew-Rew Jordan, and Ike Quebec. Many of Newark's jazz musicians honed their skills sitting in with the Washington Bar house band.
Pianist Nat Phipps along with brother Billy Phipps formed the Nat Phipps big band with Wayne Shorter, Grachon Moncur, Chris White, Charlie Mason, Harold Phipps and Robert Thomas. Wayne Shorter left to play with Maynard Ferguson and later Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. In 1960 Nat Phipps broke the big band down to form the Mega Tones. The Mega Tones worked all of the major jazz clubs the East Coast Scene. At this time Nat Phipps, Chicho Mendoza, and Joe Thomas were among the top local groups working the Newark scene. Nat Phipps was the original leader of the Peppermint Ballroom's Tuesday night jam session, located in East Orange, NJ. Billie Phipps left the Mega Tones Big Band to tour with Dizzy Gillespie's Big Band in 1967 Playing Baritone sax, then on to Ray Charles' band and Jack Mcduff's Band. Harold Phipps later formed a jazz and Latin jazz sextet that included the top local musicians and the Phipps.
Eugene Phipps Jr. hit the Newark Jazz scene in the late 1960's playing all of the clubs. In the early 1970's Eugene Phipps, Jr. worked with the Lamama Theatre under the direction of Ellen Steward. Debbie Allen was also one of the members of Lamama. Eugene Phipps, Jr. played the Newark & New York Jazz scene with the likes of Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff, Carter Jefferson, Woody Shaw, Tito Puente and Ray Barretto. He also embarked on a European tour. In 1985 Eugene Phipps, Jr. was one of the pioneers of the Priory Jazz Club, playing every Thursday night for the first two years. In addition to the jazz scene, Angela Phipps taught music in the Newark school district from the 1950's until she retired in 1990.
After attending Newark's Arts High School in the early 1980's, Lady Laranah Phipps, the daughter of Eugene Phipps Sr., won the talent competition at The Apollo Theater. Lady Laranah's focus on jazz prompted several musicians to take an interest in her. They provided her with an invaluable amount of information and hands on training including Emory B. Tinley, Tiny Grimes, and Joe Scott, just to name a few. Lady Laranah Phipps has a New CD entitled, The Woman In Me She continues to hone her craft and follow in the footsteps of her family, Lady Laranah Phipps star continues to rise and gain favor in the eyes of the jazz community.
The Phipps Family is a Newark Jazz Staple. The Phipps Family has affectionately earned the title of Newark's First Family of Jazz. Ernie Phipps has since past on, his music lives on in the hearts and souls of all the people he has touched. The Phipps Family can be seen working both collaboratively as well as individually on the East Coast Jazz scene. They are anticipating the release of their CD project A Family Affair.


Lori Clarke
Natty Island Entertainment

Web site by William F. Dudley; content by Lady Laranah Phipps Quintet