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Laurie Dapice: Parting the Veil

C. Michael Bailey By

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Vocalist Laurie Dapice's debut recording was an intensely personal affair. That is revealed both in her extensive liner notes and the music she presents here. First efforts require much of an artist and many debut recordings reflect the downside of the demands. Not so with Parting the Veil. Dapice presents herself a fully realized vocalist, arranger, and musical shaman. Whatever suffering influenced this recording, and, inevitably, there is often suffering as a catalyst, Dapice channeled it efficiently into a direction of positivity and progress.

Dapice fears no standard, taking on several of the tried-and-true. She opens with a high breeze "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," that features a fine piccolo break by Paul Lieberman and arco bass solo by Elias Bailey. "What is This Thing Called Love?" is likewise treated. Dapice shows her admiration for Abby Lincoln by covering two songs associated with her, "Just for Me" and a lengthy "Throw It Away." The vocalist's originals "Goodbye Summer" and "Winter Waltz" show her command of the ballad from the composition side.

Dapice does not fear lengthy pieces either. Four of the ten selections are greater than seven minutes in length. She takes this time to allow her songs to properly unfold and to show off the technical particulars of her finely tuned soprano voice. This hardly seems the voice of a debut recording as fully developed as it is. Dapice exudes complete confidence, solidly understanding exactly what she wants to do and doing it exactly as she sets out to.

Dapice closes the disc with the traditional "Motherless child." It is the longest piece of the collection, employing all of her vocal and her band's instrumental wares. It is stunning, from the impressionistic piano opening by Aaron Graves to her sung soliloquy. The significance of the piece is how it extends and refines the organic jazz language pioneered by Cassandra Wilson in the 1990s. Dapice's direction in jazz vocals is a sure one and I cannot wait to hear what is next.

Track Listing: You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To; What is This Thing Called Love; Just for Me; Midnight Sun; Feeling Good; Goodbye Summer; Throw it Away; Social Call; Winter Waltz; Motherless Child.

Personnel: Laurie Dapice: arrangements, vocals, African Drum Box, kalimba, rainsticks, shakers, ankle bells, singing bowl; Art Hirahara: piano (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9); Aaron Graves: piano (8,10); Elias Bailey: bass (1,2,3,4,5,8,9,10); Rufus Reid: bass (6, 7); Dwayne Cook Broadnax: drums (1,2,3,4,5,9); Michael TA Thompson: drums/percussion (6,7); Yaron Israel: drums (Tracks 8 and 10); Paul Lieberman: piccolo/alto sax/soprano sax/flute; Akua Dixon: cello.

Title: Parting the Veil | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

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