Jazz singer Laura Stilwell released her new record this week. The record, a covers compilation titled Out Of A Dream, was released independently Tuesday. The eight-song record will appeal to a wide range of audiences, as it lifts from a variety of acts. That is proven right from the outset of the 34-minute record in the form of Stilwell’s cover of ‘Day In, Day Out.’ This performance will be discussed shortly. Stilwell’s take of ‘Don’t Be That Way’ is another notable addition to the record and will be examined a little later. ‘A Time For Love,’ the album’s closer, is yet another notable addition to the collection and will also be examined later. Each song noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the record. When they are considered along with the rest of the record’s entries, the whole makes the set another covers collection that is worth hearing at least once.
You Stepped Out Of A Dream is an enjoyable new addition to this year’s field of new covers collection. Even being a covers set, it is a presentation that most jazz fans will find worth hearing at least once. The record’s opener, a cover of ‘Day In, Day Out’ is just one way in which this is proven. Originally composed jointly by Johnny Mercer and Rube Bloom in 1939, the song has gone on to become a standard in the American songbook. It has been recorded by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, and Mel Torme just to name a few notable singers. Even the likes of Bing Crosby, Artie Shaw, and Tony Bennett have recorded the song, showing even more, its reach. Stilwell gives the song its own interesting identity, opting for the intimacy of a quartet instead of, say, the big band style approach taken by Artie Shaw and his orchestra and Johnny Mathis and his fellow musicians, as well as so many other performers and acts. The simplicity of Stilwell’s vocals alongside the performance of Tommy James on piano, and Perry Thoorsell on bass gives the song the familiar big band swing that so many other acts have used for the song. The thing is that the group does so within its own confines of its instrumentation. James’ runs make for great solo moments while Thoorsell and drummer Ron Steen expertly compliment his work. The energy that the group exudes makes this rendition just as much kick as any big band rendition of the song past and present while still staying as true as possible to its source material. It is just one of the songs that makes the record worth hearing. The collective’s update of ‘Don’t Be That Way’ is just as worth examining.
Originally jointly composed by Benny Goodman, Mitchell Parish, and Edgar Sampson in 1938, the song is an upbeat composition that would have easily gotten audiences on the dance floor with its blend of horns and woodwinds. The group’s big band composition is toned down by Stilwell and her fellow performers here while still staying mostly true to its source material. Instead of going the full nines here, Stilwell and company opt once again for a more intimate approach, with Stilwell leading the way. The richness and warmth of Goodman’s clarinet line, performed here by Dave Evans gives the arrangement a certain heart that itself still harkens back to some of Goodman’s more intimate compositions. It is like opening a time capsule from that era and hearing the music playing from so many ages ago. James’ work on the piano and that of bassist Dennis Caiazza and Steen offer just the right amount of accent to the intimate arrangement. The whole makes the arrangement an interesting new take on yet another work that is part of the American songbook. Additionally, it is just one more way in which the record proves itself worth hearing at least once. The group’s take on ‘A Time For Love’ is yet another example of what makes the collection engaging and entertaining.
Originally composed by Johnny Mandel and Paul Francis Webster in 1966 for the movie, An American Dream, the song has been re-imagined by a wide range of acts, such as Matt Monro, Stan Getz, and Bill Evans just to name a few notable performers. Even Tony Bennett has crafted his own take on the classic composition. The rendition that Stilwell and company present in this record is closely akin to those of Evans and Bennett, what with its gentle, flowing piano line and even more subtle rhythm section alongside Stilwell’s warm vocal timbre. The whole makes this song a perfect piece for any couple’s most romantic moments and just as enjoyable as any other more well-known jazz artist’s take on the song. When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the record’s entries, the whole makes the compilation in whole fully engaging and entertaining.
Out Of A Dream is a successful new offering from jazz singer Laura Stilwell. The set proves itself interesting through each one of its featured covers. The songs examined here do their own part to support the noted statement. When they are considered along with the rest of the record’s works, the whole makes the record overall a positive addition to this year’s field of new covers collections.
Out Of A Dream is available now. More information on the album is available along with all of Laura Stilwell’s latest news at:
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