How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The world may need love now, but it also needs more original artists like Laura Theodore. The vocalist opens her new CD with a smoldering and sultry "Some of My Best Friends Are The Blues"... and the band gets the blues, too, with an R&B atmosphere and a stinging muted trumpet solo followed by the salacious growl of tenor sax.
Laura Theodore explores her full four octave range on this outing, sometimes on the same song, and she also explores a range of styles – delving into deep blues on the opener; hard swing on "Come Rain or Come Shine"; a seductive bass/vocal caress on "How Deep is the Ocean"; a bright and brassy take on that song that Peggy Lee made famous, "Fever," the band wailing. It sounds like it was a gas to watch this one get put down on tape – it's brasher and less sultry than Ms. Lee's take, but no less compelling, and it's obvious that Laura T. loves this tune.
Theodore's vocal style is original, flowing from a rich and resonant low end to a girlish and charmingly coy higher register. And unless you've heard her before, it takes – as with any new encounter with unfamilar originality – a couple of listens to get it... but those couple of listens pay off. Her takes on the standards are reverent but distinctively her own, with the arrangements showcasing each song individually, without losing the atmospheric cohesiveness necessary for synergy and depth.
Track Listing: 1. Some of My Best Friends Are the Blues (Byron/Harris) - 4:41,
2. I'm in the Mood for Love (Fields/McHugh) - 2:16,
3. Come Rain or Come Shine (Arlen/Mercer) - 1:59,
4. How Deep Is the Ocean (Berlin) - 2:26,
5. Fever (Cooley/Davenport) - 3:43,
6. The Very Thought of You (Noble) - 5:15,
7. Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Ellington/Russell) - 2:51,
8. What the World Needs Now Is Love (Bacharach/David) - 3:56,
9. S' Wonderful (Gershwin/Gershwin) - 3:44,
10. You've Got to See Mamma Ev'ry Night (Or... (Conrad/Rose) - 2:22,
11. Why Should I Care (Eastwood/Sager/Thompson-Jenner) - 3:23,
12. A-Tisket A-Tasket/The Lady Is a Tramp (Alexander/Fitzgerald) - 2:47
Personnel: Laura Theodore - Vocals,
Chuck Bergeron - Bass,
Brian Murphy - Piano,
Dave Wolpe - Arranger,
John Kricker - Trombone,
Doug Michels - Trumpet,
Herman "Teddy" Mulet - Trumpet