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Lauren White: Making It Up As We Go Along


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Lauren White: Making It Up As We Go Along
With this, her fifth album, Los Angeles-based Renaissance lady, Lauren White offers eleven intriguing selections across a range of styles and sources, backed up by some of the city's best. While shrewdly avoiding the tried, true and over-recorded, White uses her subtle skills with taste and maturity. Interestingly, the album plays sequentially as if it were a performance. That is one of its attractions.

Launching things, Steely Dan's "I'm Not the Same Without You" is a coy play. White's approach and Quinn Johnson's chart are true to the original. She avoids any semblance of over-sour romantic grapes while maintaining the statement of growth. The well-worked "I'm Glad There Is You" is here delivered with a light Latin touch. The pace picks up heatedly as White swings jazz with a straight-ahead take on "Unlikely Valentine." The vocal-instrument unison here is clever. With tasty solos from tenor saxophonist Katisse Buckingham and trumpeter Brian Swartz, this is a highlight track.

The key thing to note is that White shows she can cover just about any groove across this expansive spectrum—and do so with flair. Her voice is a vocal instrument which melds exceptionally well, regardless of the complexity or poetic nature of the lyric of a ballad, for example "Our Game." She has an enticingly interesting voice, killer intonation, diction, and subtle bravado.

The Latin fare is presented with the classic "Tin Tin Deo" and "Lowercase" in sequence. The latter offers an energized solo from frequent White collaborator, Quinn Johnson. Greek film stalwart Mimis Plessas' "Vrohoula," another highlight track, pairs White with ace scatter Paul Jost in a swinging effort in which Larry Koonse gives a fine solo. The title track, a tip to lyric writer, Lorraine Feather, is covered swayingly (as Feather did) with a dollop of White's own seasoning. The Bergmans' and Roger Kellaway's lovely ballad, "I Have the Feeling I've Been Here Before" is an intimate portrait on which White dazzles. Stevie Wonder's "Make Sure You're Sure" and Bill Evans' "Turn Out the Stars" close out the session on a thoughtful, slower balladic note.

Kudos are due to the various musicians involved, and to producer Barbara Brighton for a superior effort. Overall, Making It Up As We Go Along is an engaging effort from a fine artist and her collaborators whose talents shine throughout with no "fake makes" happening here.

Track Listing

I'm Not the Same Without You, I'm Glad There Is You, Unlikely Valentine, Our Game, Tin Tin Deo, Lowercase, Vrohoula, Making It Up As We Go Along, I Have the Feeling I've Been Here Before, Make Sure You're Sure, Turn Out the Stars.


Additional Instrumentation

Katisse Buckingham: tenor saxophone; Quinn Johnson: Rhodes (1,8). Paul Jost: vocal (7)

Album information

Title: Making It Up As We Go Along | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Cafe Pacific Records

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