Laura Harrison: Now...here (2011)
Harrison employs two separate piano trios on Now...here, dividing the 12 tunes evenly, with the second triopianist John Proulx, bassist Kevin Axt and drummer Steve Barnesperforming solely Harrison's four original compositions, "Now...Here," "Mi Alma" and "Teesa's Blues." Those are the demographics.
What's special is the eutection of Harrison's carefully schooled craft regarding melody and her "no fear" attitude toward taking chances. Did you say scat singing? Harrison proves her scat bona fides with the songs book-ending her collection. "Shulie A Bop," opening the recital, was a staple of "Sassy," the divine Miss Sarah Vaughan, who with Betty Carter and Ella Fitzgerald, perfected the art founded in Louis Armstrong's "Heebie Jeebies." The closing vocalese on Duke Ellington's "Cottontail" approaches bebop in its ferocious tempo.
Harrison's original compositions are informed by her broad background. "Now...Here" celebrates the singer's full time arrival in the U.S. propelled by Steve Barnes' clever drumming and John Proulx's deliberate pianism. The singer's clever combination of her "Reflections" and Cole Porter's "I Concentrate on You" complement one another very well, accented by bassist Kevin Axt's deft walking. It is proper that Laura Harrison has her say musically.
Track Listing: Shulie A Bop; Now...Here; Berimbau; Reflections/I Concentrate On You; Mi Alma; Love You Madly; Wouldn't It Be Loverly; Teesa's Blues; Habanera; Icarus; Seven Days; Cottontail.
Personnel: Laura Harrison: vocals; Peter Smith, John Proulx: piano; Chris Colangelo, Kevin Axt: bass; Jimmy Branly, Steve Barnes: drums.
Record Label: 59 Steps Records