Thursday, January 1, 2015

Lauren Meccia: “Inside Your Eyes” (2015) CD Review

Lauren Meccia’s new album, Inside Your Eyes, features some wonderful and interesting renditions of familiar standards, while also including original material. In addition to providing excellent jazz vocals, Lauren Meccia plays saxophone. Joining her on this release are Donald Vega on piano (whom you might know from the Ron Carter Trio) and Mike Frost on bass, both of whom contribute compositions as well. Brian Czach is on drums and percussion for all but one track on this release.

Inside Your Eyes opens with a sweet, mellow rendition of Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly,” with lyrics written by his sister, Jean Hancock. There is some really nice work by both Mike Frost on bass and Donald Vega on piano, particularly in the instrumental section partway through the track, but it is Lauren Meccia’s impressive vocals that are the focus here. She can be smooth, but also find moments to really soar. Jeremy Roberson plays drums and John Miceli plays percussion on this track.

“Butterfly” is followed by “Inside Your Eyes,” the album’s title track, an original song with lyrics by Lauren Meccia and music composed by Donald Vega. There is something really pretty about Lauren’s vocal delivery on this track. “You might think I’m not for you/Afraid of what I might do/But the truth is not disguised/Inside your eyes.” There is also a really delicious lead spot on piano. This album also features “If You Can Fly,” another original composition by Lauren Meccia and Donald Vega. I love the relaxed vibe of this track. “So come with me and take my hand/And leave illusions all behind/And if you want to find your truth/Retreat, go deep within your mind.” And then the song builds to a really good jam toward the end.

Lauren Meccia does a fun, groovy version of “How High The Moon.” And vocally she is clearly having a fantastic time, totally delighting in the scat section in particular. And for me it’s her sense of joy that makes this a stand-out track. Though this one also features some excellent work by Donald Vega and Mike Frost. “How High The Moon” was written by Morgan Lewis and Nancy Hamilton, and has been covered by Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, among others. Lauren Meccia’s version includes some added lyrics that she composed. There is also a wonderful version of Irving Berlin’s “Cheek To Cheek,” which features some excellent work by Mike Frost on bass. I also love what Lauren does vocally on Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “One Note Samba.”

Lauren Meccia gives us an interesting rendition of “What The World Needs Now,” opening it with the chorus on saxophone.  The song then takes on a Latin feel for its instrumental section at the end, and this is what makes it really interesting for me. I do I wish that section would last a bit longer. The song fades out when it feels like it’s really just getting going. Edwin Hamilton is on percussion on this track.

“Atlantis” is the one instrumental track on this release, and is also the one track composed by bassist Mike Frost. Lauren Meccia's excellent work on saxophone is at the center of this track, but the group is also joined by Sarah Land on violin and Ryan Knott on cello for this one. And Donald Vega has plenty of opportunity to shine here.

Inside Your Eyes concludes with Lauren Meccia's beautiful take on “Over The Rainbow,” her vocals accompanied by delicate and sweet work on piano by Donald Vega. This is a really good rendition.

CD Track List
  1. Butterfly
  2. Inside Your Eyes
  3. How High The Moon
  4. One Note Samba
  5. If You Can Fly
  6. Cheek To Cheek
  7. The Look Of Love
  8. What The World Needs Now Is Love
  9. You Don’t Know What Love Is
  10. I Can’t Make You Love Me
  11. Atlantis
  12. Over The Rainbow
Inside Your Eyes is scheduled to be released on January 6, 2015.

No comments:

Post a Comment