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Laurie Antonioli - American Dreams
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Laurie Antonioli - American Dreams

10-08-2014, 15:20
Jazz | Vocal Jazz

Laurie Antonioli - American Dreams

Artist: Laurie Antonioli
Title Of Album: American Dreams
Year Of Release: 2010
Label: Intrinsic Music
Genre: Jazz / Vocal Jazz
Quality: Mp3
Bitrate: 320kbps / 44.1kHz / Joint-Stereo
Total Time: 56:25 min
Total Size: 127 MB

01. America The Beautiful
02. Dreary Black Hills Get Up & Go
03. How Long
04. Just A Dream
05. Long Way From Home
06. Moonlight In Vermont
07. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning
08. Samba Nada Brahma
09. Stimulus Plan
10. Sweet Sound Of Spring
11. Under Consideration
12. Vienna Blues

Calling American Dreams a jazz album is too narrowing a description. This record is actually an odyssey through the American musical landscape. After recording Foreign Affair (Nabel, 2004), with a multi-cultural cast of musicians while living abroad, vocalist Laurie Antonioli's mind drifted back toward thoughts of home. In exploring her vision of America, Antonioli touches on standards, country, folk and patriotic music. These entries are nestled within a collection that also includes a good amount of material resulting from a marriage of her lyrics with the music of pianist Fritz Pauer--the longtime accompanist for trumpeter Art Farmer.

In lesser hands, these disparate musical ideals might have resulted in an album that suffered from multiple personality disorder, but Antonioli and her exquisite band help fuse all of these songs into a unified musical expression. While a song called Samba Nada Brahma might seem like an odd way to start off an album that speaks of America, it provides instant excitement as Sheldon Brown's soprano saxophone work bounces around with boundless energy. Moonlight In Vermont gives Antonioli a chance to showcase her superb scatting skills and bassist John Shifflett provides excellent support here. How Long, one of five pieces credited to Pauer and Antonioli, has an alt-country vibe and--if one looks past the saxophone solo--it sounds like it could have come from the Emmylou Harris songbook. Brown--one of the key ingredients on this record--provides some harmonica work at the top of Dreary Black Hills and Antonioli's voice picks up a bit of country twang on this traditional tune. This song transitions into Get Up And Go--an earthy, appealing original from Shifflett--and Antonioli's voice takes on a firmer, focused quality here.

In addition to bringing stylistic authenticity into every song on the album, guitarist Dave McNab put together a gorgeous arrangement of America The Beautiful. Antonioli slowly lays out the visually rich lyrics over a warm bed of guitar and Brown's bass clarinet work adds volumes to the performance. Freer forms of expression come through on the loose and woozy Stimulus Plan, as Jason Lewis' jittery cymbal work scurries around and Antonioli moves in tandem with Brown's bass clarinet. Broadway also makes a brief appearance and Oh, What A Beautiful Morning is taken at a relaxed pace, with pianist Matt Clark providing the harmonic foundation for Antonioli and Brown--on tenor saxophone here. From start to finish, American Dreams proves to be a happy marriage of cultural appreciation and musical creation. ~ Dan Bilawsky

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