Laura Theodore, vocals; Lee Schwartz, drums; Brian Murphy, piano; Chuck Bergeron, acoustic bass; The Juliene Purefoy Big Band.
It is best not to try and judge a singer by the picture on the liner; the demure looking Laura Theodore sheds that mantle the moment she approaches a microphone. The opening track "Some Of My Best Friends Are The Blues" immediately establishes her as a singer with power and versatility; singing mostly as a mezzo-soprano she can go lower and considerably higher in an amazing four-octave range. This singer/actor is secure and comfortable in any octave, she is happy to experiment and surprises with little nuances and changes that inflect her lines constantly; one suspects her acting ability is a help here. She sings through standards and blues with a clean; articulate professionalism; an understanding of timing and ability to surprise with her improvisation adds to the effect. "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", is just one of many that could be used as an example. She can be skittish, playful, serious or just torching, but there is always plenty of excitement and flair. The Juliene Purefoy Big Band backs well, there are some great arrangements; "S' Wonderful" is a swinger arranged by Kevin Wedrychowski and features John Kricker on trombone, Juliene Purefoy on sax and flute and the trumpet of Hermon "Teddy" Mulet. This is followed by "You've Got To See Mamma Ev'ry Night" arranged by John Curtin; both pieces have Laura in belter mode. A fine, assured and well balanced performer; it is a must buy for those who like Jazz vocals.
by Ferdinand Maylin
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