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
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.