Tuesday, July 10, 2018

JESSICA LAUREN - "AMALFI"

Collage by Karen Lynch

London-based pianist, Jessica Lauren, has been an active member of the modern jazz scene since the 1990s.  Admittedly, I hadn't heard much of her music until very recently and I'm ashamed to say that now because it's absolutely timeless.  Lauren's latest release, Almería, is a soft reflection into Mediterranean-inspired jazz and soul sounds that harken back to '60s world legends like Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66 but with an even more expansive Afro-Beat influence.  

"Amalfi" is the perfect example of this with it's bouncing bossa nova backbeat and hypnotically catchy piano line that echoes on as the band rests for an 8-count.  The vocal melody careens next to a whispering flute line that bops and up and down effortlessly, then breaking into a soothing harmony over the groovy electric piano that holds the beat together.  The chord changes are exciting and keep the listener guessing with each new movement.

 Gliding like a feather, "Amalfi" feels like a cool breeze on a sunny day.  It's relaxing and inviting, coaxing the listener to put away any troubles in favor of a coastline drive.  Even if jazz isn't your thing, Jessica Lauren's "Amalfi" will make you feel right at home with her minimalist arrangements and melodic songwriting.  

Check out her full-length, Almería, out now!

RIYL: Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66, Ernie Hawks & the Soul Investigators, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Yazmin Lacey


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