Laura Harrison

Laura Harrison, Now…Here

Reviewed By: Steven Harband

“My goal as a vocalist is to use my voice as a vehicle to deliver a sincere interpretation of the message of the lyric and to honour the chord changes when I solo,” says Laura of her work. Well Laura; mission accomplished!

“Shulie A Bop” made famous by Sarah Vaughan is the benchmark for any vocalist to aspire to. Harrison comes through with dead on pitch, excellent rhythm and excellent scatting skills. Laura is in full throttle on this classic cut with a command of her instrument she lets the listener know she has arrived and she is ready to engage.

“Now….Here” is a personal and inspirationally themed cut. Harrison lost her father nearly six years ago to a heart attack, she describes that moment as her deepest sorrow, one that forever changed her. This emotionally charged cut is absolutely gorgeous. A powerful tribute to a valued father and how he inspired a wonderfully creative daughter to be the best she can be and enjoy the journey of now and here!

Another Harrison original is the enchanting “Teesa’s Blues” composed in 1999, Teresa, or “Teesa,” is based on a student of Harrison’s in Canada. While taking her Jazz Arranging class at USC she wrote what was then a wordless melody and called it “Teesa’s Blues.” The mean bully in Teesa’s Blues is totally fictitious. Now in full blossom Harrison brings forth a sassy, bluesy swinger that is utterly delightful.

Now …Here is a wonderfully diverse and texturally engaging CD. Harrison’s debut is a strong calling card into the national marketplace and Harrison is definitely up to the task. In Laura’s bio it states “Laura dedicated herself to becoming an excellent musician. Working hard to learn the fundamentals of theory and sight reading made her a great teacher in these fields. Through her college years she tutored in theory and sight reading and to this day teaches musicianship classes. After earning two Bachelor degrees, Laura began teaching in Canada and met a man that would change her life: Shelly Berg, head of the jazz department at the University of Southern California. Mr. Berg auditioned her and she was accepted into the program where she completed her Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts Degrees in Jazz Studies with a near perfect GPA.” On this auspicious debut Harrison splashes onto the scene with a positive imprint.

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