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ALBUM REVIEWS

Laurie Antonioli & Richie Beirach: Varuna

Read "Varuna" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

This absorbing release--an album that's something of a sequel to The Duo Sessions (Nabel Records, 2005)--finds vocalist Laurie Antonioli and pianist Richie Beirach painting one divine musical tableau after another. There are vivid numbers that place Antonioli's seraphic vocals atop Beirach's dense and full-flavored chords, spare readings that allow fragility and the human condition to come to the surface, and standards shaped and molded to this pair's liking. The music is both experiential and experimental, owing to each artist's adventurous ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Laurie Antonioli & Richie Beirach: Varuna

Read "Varuna" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

There is a tuneful Constellation in the West and her name is Laurie Antonioli. Returning to her native Bay Area in 2006 after an expatriate period in Europe where she served as professor of voice at Austria's Kug University, she formed her “American Dreams" band recording, most recently, the well critically well-received albums, American Dreams (Intrinsic Music, 2010) and what is considered her breakout, the excellent Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light: the Music of Joni Mitchell (Origin Records, 2014) ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

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

Read "Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light: the Music of Joni Mitchell" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Bay Area vocalist Laurie Antonioli has been performing and recording for more than 30 years. Early on she mixed paints with the likes of Joe Henderson, Mark Murphy and Pony Poindexter with whom she undertook an 8-month European junket in 1980, quickening her already impressive jazz chops. Antonioli's discography is a slim yet intense affair that is full of brilliant pathos and musicianship. She has had much time pass between releases resulting in a sonic career where her evolution as ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Laurie Antonioli: Songs Of Shadow, Songs Of Light: The Music Of Joni Mitchell

Read "Songs Of Shadow, Songs Of Light: The Music Of Joni Mitchell" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The concept of a jazz-informed program of Joni Mitchell tunes isn't exactly novel anymore. Herbie Hancock's high profile River: The Joni Letters (Verve, 2007) took home two Grammy Awards; vocalist Tierney Sutton got some well-deserved attention when she put her own spin on Mitchell's work with After Blue (BFM, 2013); somewhat under-the-radar releases from artists like David Lahm and Rachel Z have made something of an impact on a smaller scale; and numerous other albums that aren't necessarily built around ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Laurie Antonioli

Read "Take Five With Laurie Antonioli" reviewed by Laurie Antonioli

Meet Laurie Antonioli: Whether interpreting American songbook standards, reinventing traditional American songs, or introducing contemporary melodies made vivid with her original lyrics, Antonioli brings her inclusive musical intelligence to bear on every tune. The result is a gorgeous tapestry woven from the raw materials of jazz, folk, country music, Balkan melodies and harmonies, and a style that is entirely original. She's worked and recorded with George Cables, Richie Beirach, and numerous other well known jazz musicians. A singer's singer ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Laurie Antonioli: American Dreams

Read "American Dreams" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

In order to have specifically American Dreams, exile may be necessary. An extended stay in a foreign country lends a certain detached perspective on the homeland. For returning San Francisco-based jazz vocalist Laurie Antonioli, that foreign stay was in Graz, Austria, at KUG University, where she taught vocal jazz from 2002 until 2006.A fortuitous aspect of Antonioli's European stay was her musical hook-up with pianist Fritz Pauer, longtime accompanist to Art Farmer. Pauer also taught at KUG, and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Laurie Antonioli: American Dreams

Read "American Dreams" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

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 ...


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