Laura Harrison,
Now Here
(independent, 2011)

On Now Here, Laura Harrison sings a mixture of 12 standards and originals in a trio format of piano, bass and drums. Two musicians are credited for each instrument, so the trios are varied throughout the CD.

Harrison covers a range that goes from "Berimbau" and "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" to a vocal version of Ralph Towner's "Icarus" and even the aria "Habanera" from Carmen. The focus, however, is on swing and scat vocals. She successfully channels Sarah Vaughan in a spirited scat "Shulie A Bop." The closer, "Cottontail," has an arrangement based on the Lambert, Hendricks and Ross version.

Her originals are written in the style of swing vocals, where the lyrics are sung as if they are the notes of an instrument. The title track seems a bit rushed as Harrison works to get all the words into each line. "Reflections," with just Harrison and a bassist, comes out better. "Mi Alma" is a heartfelt dedication to a deceased friend, and "Tessa's Blues" is a lighthearted, swinging dedication to a former student.

Fans of vocalese, or anyone into standards, should like this CD.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
Dave Howell

12 March 2011

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