with an unusually pliant set of vocal chords, Laurie Krauz has a ball on her first album. Her vocal approach and power reflect her beginnings in the musical theater. To these basic tools, she has added the subtlety and improvision skills needed to do jazz. Her version of "So Many Stars" backed by irregular rhythms coupled with song ending wordless vocalizing is an album highlight. Krauz was very lucky in her choice of fellow musicians. Daryl Kojak's trio is strong on all the cuts. On three tracks, one of jazz's premier tenor men shows up in the person of George Coleman. All combine to give Nina Simone's "Sugar in My Bowl" as down and dirty a reading as one is ever likely to hear of this tune. Krauz even adds a few bars of falsetto for good measure. Using the call and response technique with the trio, she swings on that rarely heard tune by Billie Holiday and Buster Harding, "Please Don't Do It in Here". The album's kick off piece, the Ellington/Strayhorn masterpiece, "Day Dream", sets the high standard for what's to follow. A medium tempo, blues based Krauz moves back and forth between singing and mouthing the lyrics showing she is no novice with the jazz singing art as she combines the best of cabaret and jazz singing. She has the respect for the lyrics one usually finds with in cabaret as well as the ability to use her voice as an instrument, without over embellishing on the latter. A small downer is passions spill over a tad much on "Love Is Here to Stay".
This is a wonderful maiden album and will cause listeners to become impatient waiting for her next one. Recommended. Visit Laurie on her Internet home at www. lauriekrauz.com.
Personnel: Laurie Krauz - Vocals; Daryl Kojak - Piano; Sean Conly - Bass; Gene Lewin - Drums George Coleman* - Tenor Sax