“A voice and style that don't belong to this century, let alone this decade…Close your eyes, and drift into a different world.”
– Kev Rowland, Gonzo Weekly music magazine
From her home base of Dallas to Los Angeles, New York, Scotland and India, the world is falling in love with Laura Ainsworth. With her satiny, three-octave voice, her sexy sense of humor and her trademark elbow-length gloves and beaded gowns that would fill Julie London with envy, Laura ushers audiences into her own enchanting world...a cocktail that combines the elegant retro style of nightclub shows of the ‘40s and '50s with sophisticated modern musical twists. She calls it "New Vintage." It’s an intoxicating blend that has attracted some of the top jazz players in Texas to her side, including longtime partner Brian Piper, one of the most sought-after pianists/producers in the Southwest. It’s also earned her critical raves and industry honors, including a profile in Downbeat magazine; performances at Manhattan’s famed Metropolitan Room, L.A.’s Whiskey A-Go-Go and Mike Huckabee’s nationally-broadcast TV variety show on TBN; three Global Music Awards Bronze Medals; a Clousine Music Magazine “Best Jazz Album” award; and multiple nominations in the Josie Music Awards and Artists Music Guild Heritage Awards.
Big band and lounge jazz are in Laura's DNA. Her late father, Bill Ainsworth, was a renowned sax and clarinet master, vocalist and arranger who played with Freddy Martin, Tex Beneke, Ernie Felice and other top bandleaders, and at age 17, was possibly the youngest member ever of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. As a young girl, Laura watched enraptured as her dad accompanied such idols as Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme and Marilyn McCoo at Dallas' famous Fairmont Hotel Venetian Room. Laura grew up worshiping the great jazz, big band and club singers such as Ella, Keely Smith, Doris Day, Julie London, Margaret Whiting and Rosemary Clooney, as well as musically-inclined comediennes such as Madeline Kahn and Mary Tyler Moore. Both music and humor became a big part of her life.
|Laura's debut album, Keep It To Yourself, produced and arranged by 2012 Dallas Jazz Musician of the Year Brian Piper and featuring the Brian Piper Trio (John Adams on bass, Mike Drake on drums), spotlights Laura's amazing voice in a delightful genre- and era-skipping collection of ballads, swing tunes, standards and obscure gems from the 1920s to today.
Guest artists include the brilliant sax and clarinet player Chris McGuire, guitarist Noel Johnston and jazz violinist Milo Deering.
Guitarist Chris Derose, who has accompanied such artists as Michael Feinstein and Willie Nelson, joins Laura on a stripped-down take of the Hoagy Carmichael / Johnny Mercer classic "Skylark" that one critic dubbed “transcendent.”
Jazz Inside magazine raved, "You can keep those pop divas, the only one for me is Laura Ainsworth... a wonderful modern interpreter of the Great American Songbook, as well as thoroughly modern styles." Robert Sutton of JazzCorner.com wrote that she "weaves past and present with stunning power." And AllAboutJazz.com raved, "Gifted with a sultry, swoon-inducing croon, Ainsworth can sing any words and command attention… The whole album is among the year's most consistently engaging jazz releases, performed with class and heartfelt passion.” Keep It To Yourself is available at CDBaby.com, iTunes, Amazon and other download sites. Click here to buy the CD or download it from CDBaby.com.
Her second album, Necessary Evil, upped the ante, with Jazz Inside declaring, "Laura Ainsworth has not only met the incredible standard set by her debut recording, but surpassed it with her timeless musical craftsmanship and abundant raw talent." The album's film noir theme focuses on the darker side of love. It combines standards, obscurities and new songs in classic styles to tell a variety of stories of love with a twist. She’s accompanied by a full big band featuring 13 of Dallas' greatest horn players on the searing title cut and the brand new tribute to Laura's favorite composer, "Last Train to Mercerville."
The great Brian Piper is back on keyboards, production and arrangements, with bassist John Adams, percussionist Steve Barnes, sax/clarinet virtuoso Chris McGuire, and major contributions from Rodney Booth's scorching trumpet, Pete Brewer on flute and Steve Story on violin. Oscar Montagut at TheWorldMusicReport.com called Laura "an exceptional singer, full of grace and color," and declared Necessary Evil "a smart and brilliant contribution to the world jazz scene." Preston Jones of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram said it "pops in a way that makes you realize just how terrific old-school jazz can sound in the right hands." Scottish radio host Richard Irvine called it "reminiscent of those classic Verve, Capitol and Columbia albums of the 1950s." And Koop Kooper, host of the internationally-syndicated "Cocktail Nation" radio show, simply declared, "My goodness, it is brilliant." Like her debut, Necessary Evil made the Jazz Week top radio airplay charts.
Several cuts also appeared on the best-selling compilation CDs, Goa Chillout Zone and Independent No. 1s, distributed throughout India and the Middle East by WOA Entertainment, which led to a concert tour of India and Dubai. Necessary Evil is available through all major download sites, and as a CD or download at CDBaby.com. (But get the CD: you'll want the fantastic cover art and Raymond Chandler-style liner notes.)
Laura's third album, New Vintage, debuted in summer 2017, simultaneously with Top Shelf, a 180-gram virgin vinyl, audiophile LP collection of some of her favorite cuts from her first three albums. The releases were celebrated with her solo New York City debut at Manhattan’s most elegant showroom, The Metropolitan Room, and a guest appearance at the legendary Bitter End. New Vintage enjoyed worldwide airplay and rave reviews, made JazzWeek’s Top 20 Most-Added Albums Chart, and was named Best Jazz Album (Spring 2018) by the Clousine International Music Awards and one of the “Best of the Best of 2017” by the internationally-syndicated radio show, Cocktail Nation.