Andy Bey, piano; Peter Bernstien, guitar; John Di Martino, piano; Boris Kozlov, bass; Wofgang Pusching, flute; Alegre Correa, guitar; Claus Raible, piano; Johannes Enders, sax; Andy Scherrer, sax; George Breinschmid, bass; Mario Gonzi, Drums
With the burgeoning glut of so-called Jazz singers hitting the recording scene these days, there is little wonder that one arrives via the call of, "the best female Jazz vocalist in Europe."
Besides the hype I beg the question, 'is not Dee Dee Bridgewater still residing in Europe?'
On this new disc, the self titled Anna Lauvergne, we are privy to mostly an intimate set of duets and trios, all highlighting Ms. Lauvergne's lilting vocals. Despite accolades from Andy Bey, Sheila Jordan and Mark Murphy, not too shabby a round of singers, 'Europe's best' doesn't live up to the billing.
Bey, acting in the role of piano accompaniment here, backs her on 'Don't You Know I Care' and 'Waiting For Someone to Love.' And does a solid job! It is interesting to note that half the songs were recorded in Europe and the remainder in the States.
Getting across a bevy of standards to an attentive audience is crucial, be it nightclub crooner or touch-song specialist. Ms. Lauvergne has a plaintive delivery much akin to an Abby Lincoln without the pizzazz. In fact she attempts to fashion Lincoln's assertive 'talk/sing' style on the Haden/Lincoln number, 'First Song.' She evens apes Astrud Gilberto on 'Corcovado.'
If Ms. Lauvergne intends to stick it out in the long Jazz journey a good bet is that she'll do well. Right now she's got her work cut out for her.
by Lofton Emenari, III
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, October 2002 issue, all rights reserved