LaVon Hardison | Choices

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Carmen McRae Ella Fitzgerald Sarah Vaughan

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LaVon Hardison on Facebook LaVon's official website LaVon's MySpace page Red & Ruby: LaVon's swing-jazz duo Apple iTunes

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United States - Washington

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Blues: Jazzy Blues Moods: Mood: Quirky
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Choices

by LaVon Hardison

An eclectic and compelling collection of jazz standards, soulful blues, and quirky cover songs.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Ain't Misbehavin'
2:37 $0.99
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2. Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps
3:11 $0.99
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3. Choices
3:28 $0.99
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4. Don't Fence Me In
2:51 $0.99
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5. Superstition
4:07 $0.99
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6. The Owl and The Pussycat
2:07 $0.99
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7. It's Alright With Me
3:55 $0.99
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8. Shop Around
5:42 $0.99
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9. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
3:03 $0.99
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10. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
4:03 $0.99
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11. Coffee Song
3:16 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“an agile voice in the service of an agile mind”

“When LaVon performs a song, you can be assured that not only will it sung beautifully, with the playfulness and the poignancy the song deserves, … each song becomes a distinct and memorable experience for the listener.”

Authenticity and soul are the foundations upon which LaVon stands when she sings. She simply has a rare ability to become a direct connection between the listener and the music.

On her debut release, Choices, LaVon shows why audiences rave about her performances. Each song oozes with personality and character, from the dark disfunction of “Perhaps” -- enhanced by the eerie musical saw of Russell Gores -- to the glass-half-full optimism of “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.”

Choices is remarkably cohesive, given the breadth of LaVon’s song selections. With two exceptions, the songs are well-known jazz standards and pop covers. In LaVon’s highly creative arrangements, these become tools for exploring the characters in the stories, and even familiar tunes take on new meaning and depth. Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” for example, gets the swamp blues treatment, complete with Scuff Acuff’s fingers scurrying across his washboard like cockroaches fleeing the light.

Veteran pianist Joe Baque co-wrote the title song “Choices” decades ago, though LaVon’s is the first recording of this poignant jazz mediation on the confusion of maturity. And LaVon’s original re-imagining of Lear’s poem “The Owl and the Pussycat” finds the two in a sometimes-awkward dating situation, wrapped in an arrangement that sounds like a just-hatched jazz standard.

While Choices will delight jazz fans, its forays into blues and pop give it an even broader appeal. Just call it great vocal music.


Choices features:
LaVon Hardison: vocals
Joe Baque: piano
Lorree Gardener: bass, vocals
Brad Gibson: drums
Russell Gores: saw
Pat Locke: guitar
Steve Luceno: guitar, bass, percussion, vocals
Barbara Metcalf: fiddle
Skuff Acuff: washboard
Bruce Whitcomb: keyboards

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Reviews


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John Ford, KAOS-fm Jazz/Blues Director

Delightful new 'takes' of old favorites
Choices is a breath of fresh air in a climate of ho-hum vocal albums. Lavon's voice and the arrangements of these well-known tunes makes each track a new journey with an old friend. Of particular note is It's Alright With Me, and Shop Around (I NEVER thought I'd want to hear that again after Toni Tenneile's syrupy version...) There are no low points on this release- just a great time.
John Ford, Jazz/Blues Director
KAOS 89.3 fm, Olympia, WA
Host, John's Place, 6-8pm PST
live streaming at kaosradio.org
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Tom Peterson, Victory Review

Choices is a great record!
LaVon Hardison has a startlingly clear, sweet voice, resembling not just a little Ella Fitzgerald’s. She’s right in Ella’s bag on much of Choices, but she’s got the versatility to try a few other directions as well, making this a consistently stimulating CD. ... Through it all her pure tone and crisp but warm diction never wavers and it all sounds easy. ... Choices is a great record!
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K.E. - Los Gatos, CA

LaVon Hardison is FANTASTIC!
LaVon Hardison is FANTASTIC! I've been a huge fan for years. Can't wait to check out her new CD and I got a few for holiday gifts as well. I know these jazz-loving recipients will enjoy her music!
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Mike Stock

LaVon makes you remember what a good voice is supposed to sound like.
LaVon makes you remember what a good voice is supposed to sound like. It's an instrument with the warmth, clarity and virtuosity of the other instruments in the band. I'm picky with my jazz, and to me the voice makes all the difference. I've listened to this CD over and over due exclusively to LaVon's warm, clear vocals; she sings with a sense of joy that often transcends the track. Also her take on Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" is just great! If you're looking for a new artist who sounds more seasoned and professional than other 'seasoned professionals', get LaVon's Choices!
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Russell, Eugene OR

Loved it! Highly Recommended
I highly recommend this CD for anyone who loves jazz and the blues. Hardison's voice exposes depths in these songs that would otherwise go unnoticed. The choices on "Choices" are perfect and compliment each other beautifully.
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