Dessy Di Lauro | This Is Neo-Ragtime

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This Is Neo-Ragtime

by Dessy Di Lauro

'Feathered Fro-Hawk Futuristic Art Deco Centric Harlem Renaissance Hep Music'
Genre: Urban/R&B: Contemporary urban
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Hep Rag (Introlude)
0:52 $0.99
2. Mysterious
4:25 $0.99
3. Jump 'n' Jivin'
3:44 $0.99
4. Popularity Contest
4:48 $0.99
5. Loved
4:34 $0.99
6. Lost in the Jungle
7:05 $0.99
7. Sweet Georgia Brown
4:01 $0.99
8. Why U Raggin'?
3:39 $0.99
9. Bringin' It Back
4:02 $0.99
10. Never Existed
5:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
She has had feature roles on Cirque du Soleil and sang background vocals for the likes of Patti Labelle, Deborah Cox, & The Neville Bros. He has toured with Madonna, written and performed on Jill Scott's new album, The Light of The Sun. Now Dessy Di Lauro and her producer/husband Ric'key Pageot are ready to take the music world by storm with their neo-ragtime sound.

Montreal born, L.A.-based, Dessy Di Lauro (pronounced D’Laro) delivers a unique flavor of original music she describes as ''Feathered Fro-hawk Futuristic Art Deco-Centric Harlem Renaissance Hep Music,'' which blends the ragtime musical language of the speakeasy era with today’s contemporary urban sounds.

The album features catchy hooks, along with stride piano, live horns, electronic/urban overtones with resonating keyboard bass and thumping drum machines sounds. Dessy’s lyrical subject matters range from challenges of today's artists dealing with social media’s heavy influence on the music industry, on her song ‘Popularity Contest’, to ending an abusive relationship on ‘Never Existed’ to simply having a good time at the juke joint party on ‘Jump ‘N’ Jivin’.



to write a review

Gareth Davies

No doubt this artist is accomplished, even less she is different. When its hard to pigeonhole both material and vocals its hard to predict with any certainty if this will be the next big thing or vanish without trace. Sure Lily Allen did it, and Caro Emerald is huge in limited markets so I'm going to stick my neck out and say Ms Di Lauro will make a name for herself as a solo performer. This album breaks new ground, makes a statement bold enough to get noticed and with the right kind of exposure could be the start of something big! Good Luck

Album Review
Montreal vocalist Dessy Di Lauro is ‘one of a kind’. Touting an impressive resumé (Patti LaBelle, The Neville Brothers, Cirque du Soleil, etc.) as well as a rich musical education, Di Lauro is nothing short of accomplished. Presenting original music described as “Feathered Fro-hawk Futuristic Art Deco-Centric Harlem Renaissance Hep Music,” Di Lauro fuses elements of ragtime, stride, and early jazz with the urban contemporary sounds of the present on 2013’s This Is Neo-Ragtime. Her first full-length of original music (via personally founded imprint CrazyglueMusic) blends acoustic elements (piano, horns) with electronic elements (keyboards, drum machines) and addictive, often harmonized choruses. Collaborating with husband/producer Ric’key Pageot (Jill Scott, Madonna & Bachelor’s of Music in jazz performance from McGill University), This Is Neo-Ragtime is a unique album, like never experienced before.

The “Hep Rag (Introlude)” establishes Neo-Ragtime’s tone from the onset, featuring the aforementioned horns and cues characteristic of ragtime and 20’s jazz. “Mysterious”, “Jump ‘N’ Jivin’”, and “Lost In The Jungle” are among the very best moments of the effort. “Mysterious” has ‘cabaret’ written all-over it, blending ‘old-school’ with hip-hop drum programming; it provides the first signature ‘bang’ of the set. Di Lauro’s vocals, always impressive, command on “Jump ‘N’ Jivin’”, the energetic single from the set. “Jump ‘N’ Jivin’” lifts musically from the esteemed big band classic “Sing, Sing Sing”. The upright piano truly shapes the sound - adding to the ‘vintage’ appeal and elevating its status. The seven-minute juggernaut “Lost in the Jungle” embodies the raucous jungle-boogie of the 20’s - think Duke Ellington, only updated for 2013. One of “Jungle’s” signature moments is the change of mood and pace towards the end, distinguished by emotional lyrics (“Help me find my way / out of this jungle…”).

Album review
The Harlem Renaissance was one of the most dynamic periods of the Roaring Twenties and Thirties, an era that exploded with the ragtime stride piano, swing bands and plenty of hot dance crazes. Those days are fondly remembered in the past few decades with the dazzling production of Ain’t Misbehavin’, a revue that still tours throughout the U.S. celebrating black musicians like Fats Waller and Cab Calloway, who were the heartbeat of the Harlem Renaissance.

Today, two musicians are recapturing those golden days in a completely different musical fashion. The first, DJ/producer Parov Stelar, created a hybrid electro/ragtime/swing soundtrack that was the backdrop for a recent TV commercial. The other, singer/songwriter Dessy Di Lauro, has a jazz background that has motivated and afforded her the skills and experience needed to visualize a modern urban perspective of the Harlem Renaissance.

In 2011, Di Lauro’s Jump ‘n’ Jivin’ Live @ the Swing House EP introduced audiences to Hep Rag, a tasty helping of R&B and hip-hop that basks in the jazzy rhythms and attitudes that made the Harlem Renaissance a lively cultural experience. This is Neo Ragtime, Di Lauro’s latest release and first full-length project, is perfectly timed to honor the Harlem Renaissance during Black History Month. Producer/musician Ric’key Pageot’s syncopated, funk-invested orchestrations are the backdrop for DiLauro’s deeply personal thoughts on integrity in relationships, love and social issues.

Di Lauro hits her stride on This is Neo Ragtime when she fully bares her soul, which is the norm for most of this Crazyglue Music release. The lying boyfriend is given the heave-ho on “Mysterious,” with its classic “You got’s to go” lyric. The first single, “Why U Raggin’,” finds Di Lauro calling more people out on their character, while the music industry is placed on notice for running a “Popularity Contest.” “Lost in the Jungle” switches up from the cool swinging brass section in the first half to a thrilling gospel-like climax: “Sometimes we get lost in our fears/We don’t know which way to turn.”

The pop/jazz standard “Sweet Georgia Brown” is a bit weighed down with the lackadaisical hip-hop underlining, but Di Lauro sprinkles enough gusto on top of Pageot’s sweet accordion hooks. However, her usually dependable vocal passion is sometimes uneven on “Never Existed.” Thankfully, “Bringin’ It Back” peppers old-school Harlem with reggae flavor, absolutely bringing Neo Ragtime back to Di Lauro’s performance zeal as she pays respect for the music of the past: “I’ll never be the one to give up my integrity/Making the music I love and singing wholeheartedly.”

Di Lauro and Pageot’s foresight on This is Neo Ragtime in revisiting the golden days of The Harlem Renaissance with some modern-day urban touches turns out to be a very favorable musical marriage. The hardcore R&B and hip-hop fans who check out This is Neo Ragtime will also receive an invaluable black history lesson in the process. Recommended.

By Peggy Oliver