Laurie Antonioli | American Dreams

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Country: Americana Moods: Type: Vocal
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American Dreams

by Laurie Antonioli

Antonioli brings her incisive musical intelligence to bear on every tune. The result is a gorgeous tapestry woven from the raw materials of jazz, folk, and country music.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Samba Nada Brahma
4:02 $0.90
2. Vienna Blues
3:55 $0.90
3. Moonlight in Vermont
4:39 $0.90
4. How Long
4:37 $0.90
5. Sweet Sound of Spring
4:21 $0.90
6. Under Consideration
4:31 $0.90
7. Stimulus Plan
3:48 $0.90
8. America the Beautiful
4:36 $0.90
9. Dreary Black Hills/Get Up & Go
6:25 $0.90
10. Just a Dream
5:56 $0.90
11. Oh, What a Beautiful Morning
5:20 $0.90
12. Long Way From Home
4:50 $0.90
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Laurie Antonioli’s smooth vocal stylings leap, soar, and play in her new album, American Dreams. A strikingly original singer who is “carving new frontiers in vocal jazz,” Antonioli delivers consistently engaging performances whether she’s rippling through a scat solo or uncovering the emotional depths of a ballad. The songs in American Dreams range from fresh takes on American Songbook standards and traditional American songs to contemporary melodies that she brings to life with her original lyrics—some wistful, some exuberant, and some with a satirical wink. But she also makes the music her own with inspired arrangements influenced by folk, pop, and even country music. This accessible collection of songs is fun and easy to listen to repeatedly, with tunes that can easily stick in your head, but it also offers multiple layers of interest to jazz and other music aficionados.

The rich alto of Antonioli’s voice is beautifully balanced in her seamless collaboration with her band, musicians who are all stellar performers in their own right: Matt Clark on piano, John Shifflet on bass, Jason Lewis on drums, Dave MacNab on guitar, and Sheldon Brown on soprano and tenor saxes, bass clarinet, and harmonica. Her luscious voice combines with deft instrumental solos and beautifully mixed ensemble segments to weave a gorgeous, distinctive sound for each song.

“Samba Nada Brahma” is a sparkling tune written by Austrian pianist Fritz Pauer, featuring Antonioli’s lyrics. The song gives her voice free reign to dart in a playful interchange with the exotic lines from Brown’s soprano sax and defines a model for the rest of the album by edging familiar elements into new, intriguing territory. “Vienna Blues,” another Pauer/Antonioli collaboration, slides into a deeper mood as Antonioli’s voice curls around the corners of a painful disappointment in love.

The mood brightens with “Moonlight in Vermont,” happily transformed with an elegant reharmonization by Richie Beirach and an upbeat swing arrangement. “How Long,” likely to be the surprise hit of the album, moves a Pauer/Antonioli standard into the sweetly mournful territory of a country ballad, complete with slide guitar licks and the hint of a cry in her vocal delivery. The Pauer/Antonioli song “Sweet Sound of Spring” follows, expressing thoughts of love with a light touch yet deeply lyrical performances by Antonioli and her band.

Drummer Jason Lewis wrote the music for “Under Consideration,” another ballad made memorable with Antonioli’s thoughtful lyrics and tender delivery. “Stimulus Plan” follows with a playful take on an Ornette Coleman–style free jazz approach to Paul Nagel’s music—a perfect complement to Antonioli’s hilarious lyrics riffing on thoughts of prosperity after finding a penny on the street.

Antonioli’s haunting version of “America the Beautiful” in a slow waltz tempo turns the album back in a country-inflected direction, with a hint of folk as well. “Dreary Black Hills/Get Up and Go” is a playful juxtaposition of a traditional cowboy song with a contemporary tune written by bassist John Shifflet, again with her lyrics. “Just a Dream,” the fifth Pauer/Antonioli song included in the album, has an exotic appeal with the deep colors of bass clarinet enlivened by MacNab’s solo on electric guitar and Balkan-like vocal solos.

“Oh What a Beautiful Morning” is stunningly re-imagined as a quiet ballad with an accompaniment that is as delicate as a dream. Finally, the album is brought to a satisfying conclusion with “Long Way from Home,” a poignant ballad with a Balkan feel written by pianist Richie Beirach with lyrics by Antonioli. The song ends with Antonioli’s voice overdubbed in Balkan harmonies—a shimmering finale for an unforgettable album.



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Jazz Fan

Moving and Eclectic
I've listened to this CD numerous times and am intrigued by Ms. Antonioli's unique perspective and voice. She has her own style and manages to cover many different genres even though it's clear she's rooted in jazz. In particular, I like the songs "How Long" and the iconic "America the Beautiful." 5 stars!