All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

203

Laurie Antonioli: American Dreams

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
The remarkable ingenuity of Laurie Antonioli's voice is owed, not just to the impossible range—some three octaves—but to vocalist's breathtaking ability to find the hidden quarter tones that sound between the so-called right ones. In suggesting that these notes she sings are "wrong," the idea of a Thelonious Monk-like reality emerges in Antonioli's singing. The elemental difference is one of rhythm: while Monk's was chopped and jagged, sly and askance, Antonioli's is smooth, with burgeoning glissandos that are forthright, yet unexpected; that follow a distinct melodic line, yet make surprising harmonic leaps. And while Antonioli may be a singer whose vocalizing takes magical routes through the diatonic scale, she is capable—and proves time and time again—that she owns the diatonic scale as well. Antonioli enjoys loping across the expanse of the regular Western harmonic scale, but can, on a dime, turn her voice into that of a Hindustani vocalist negotiating a complex Indian raga.

American Dreams is filled with wonderful, chromatically ingenious examples of Antonioli's vocal brilliance, with the singer melting the artificial barriers set up to separate rather than unite music. She is an old soul who, restless at all times, meanders like a medieval apothecary in search of the magic potion—in this case, the song with the most perfect tone and manner, or a tune of such breathtaking lyricism that it stops the very breath itself. In this regard, Antonioli constantly recalls the lyricism of the great Sufi masters, whose singing turned meditative and who became so entranced by the nature of their spiritualism that the art came to reside on a uniquely different plane. There are times when Antonioli gives the impression that she reaches a similar meditative state.

"Samba Nada Brahma" is just one of those songs, where Antonioli makes a Sufi-like leap with the elasticity of her vocals. The fact that she weaves the lyric in and out of a startling melody written by pianist Fritz Pauer—one of four songs they wrote together—is one of the bright spots on this album. The team of Pauer and Antonioli is a remarkable one: both musicians explore melody in great depth, and Antonioli, with masterful use of harmony, surpasses most vocalists in lyricism and depth of character. With a first rate band that includes multireedman Sheldon Brown and a bright young guitarist, Dave McNab, the ensemble provides plenty of room for Antonioli to undertake her extraordinary vocal journeys. "Vienna Blues" appears alongside the standard "Moonlight in Vermont," and it is impossible to tell that the two have been written with years between them, so breathtakingly beautiful is the classic lyricism of the former. And, in her superb version of "America The Beautiful," Antonioli undertakes a rite of passage for a vocalist, emerging almost heroic by the end of it all. As a vocalist, Antonioli displays the spark that always flies when Joni Mitchell takes to song.

Track Listing: Samba Nada Brahma; Vienna Blues; Moonlight In Vermont; How Long; Sweet Sound Of Spring; Under Consideration; Stimulus Plan; America The Beautiful; Dreary Black Hills/Get Up And Go; Just A Dream; Oh, What A Beautiful Morning; Long Way From Home.

Personnel: Laurie Antonioli: vocals; Matt Clark: piano; John Shifflet: bass; Jason Lewis: drums; Sheldon Brown: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet and harmonica; Dave McNab: acoustic and electric guitars.

Title: American Dreams | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Intrinsic Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Where Flamingo Fly/Black is the Color

Where Flamingo Fly/Black is the Color

Laurie Antonioli
Foreign Affair

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Varuna

Varuna

Origin Records
2015

buy
Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light: the Music of Joni Mitchell

Songs of Shadow,...

Origin Records
2014

buy
American Dreams

American Dreams

Intrinsic Music
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Ancestros CD/LP/Track Review
Ancestros
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Bitter Suite CD/LP/Track Review
The Bitter Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Ornettiquette CD/LP/Track Review
Ornettiquette
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Astral Revelations CD/LP/Track Review
The Astral Revelations
by John Sharpe
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Sound Of The Earth CD/LP/Track Review
The Sound Of The Earth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read "Outer Song" CD/LP/Track Review Outer Song
by Patrick Burnette
Published: September 28, 2018
Read "Folkjazz from Finland" CD/LP/Track Review Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read "The Space" CD/LP/Track Review The Space
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 6, 2018
Read "Songs of Experience: Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Songs of Experience: Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: February 10, 2018
Read "The Asylum Years" CD/LP/Track Review The Asylum Years
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read "The French Quarter" CD/LP/Track Review The French Quarter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 7, 2018