||“Laura Ainsworth re-spins classic jazz on New Vintage
Daughter of big band saxophonist, Billy Ainsworth, Laura Ainsworth offers an album of romance and sultry soundscapes on New Vintage…listening to Ainsworth’s sultry, old-fashioned voice, audiences might not know that the 21st century had arrived…
In recent months I have heard a number of smoky-voiced jazz singers. At times I have wondered how natural the voices were. Sometimes, listeners can hear a singer who is out of his or her range. Tell-tale frizzes and dropped notes are often giveaway clues. When a singer takes on standards, sometimes it is easier to hear problematic vocal quirks.
Ainsworth’s voice is earnest in a romantic way that saw its heyday at least 50 years prior. Her sultry tones are mixed with humor. On songs like ‘That’s How I Got My Start,’ and ‘An Occasional Man’ Ainsworth’s voice is perfect to play up the rhyme scheme so that audiences can hear how humor works in each piece…Ainsworth has carved a niche for herself as a singer of retro jazz. Her voice comes courtesy of a tradition forged by Rosemary Clooney, Dinah Shore and Julie London…
The instrumentation is almost perfect. The sound is lush, perfectly timed, and neither overwhelms nor hides behind Ainsworth’s voice. The brushed drums and bright saxophone strike a particularly nice balance with the vocals on ‘Long Ago & Far Away/You Stepped Out of a Dream.’ In addition, ‘I Once Knew a Fella’ is as close to raucous as this collection is going to get, and it sounds like the entire ensemble has turned up a notch or two. Suddenly, early rock and roll elements of saxophone and drums replace the group’s standard jazz sound. It’s a fun song. The vocals are half spoken, and that plays up the flirtatious vibe Ainsworth inflects.
Overall, a great album for jazz fans looking to hear a contemporary artist put an earnest spin on classics.” - Dodie Miller-Gould, lemonwire.com
“Ainsworth’s father played with Sam Butera, so this retro revival thing is in her blood legit and sometimes it just doesn’t pay to fight what you are. With another lounge revival swinging our way, she’s right at the forefront of the revival, unearthing worthy songs that haven’t been recorded in the last 50 years, which culls her from the rest of the diva pack that think it all begins and ends with Cole Porter. Loesser, Mercer, let’s bring them all back.
Streaming like a comet out of Texas, this gal is all gal and proud of it to the tips of her opera length gloves. A must for jazzbo vocal fans.” - Chris Spector, Editor & Publisher, MidwestRecord.com
“Laura Ainsworth is breathing new life into the previously staid ‘jazz standards’ album format…As excellent as Laura's first two albums have been, New Vintage looks to be Laura's breakthrough. With New Vintage, Laura creates a rich, intoxicating atmosphere that transports the mind to another place and time. Laura swings and seduces her way into the heart like only the original jazz singers could previously do. ‘They don't make 'em like they used to’ no longer applies, as Laura has rediscovered a large portion of the formula, and uses it liberally on the New Vintage album. Thank you, Laura, for making the Great American Songbook exciting and fun again!” - David Gasten, Producer, This is Vintage Now compilation series
“A delicate equilibrium exists between well-intentioned ‘vintage’ performance and cynical parody. Bands like the Cherry-Poppin' Daddies will thrill those listeners who believe they have finally found the ‘real’ thing without having listened to music recorded before 1950. It is always a dicey thing to claim one is performing vintage anything.
That said, Dallas vocalist Laura Ainsworth does exactly that on New Vintage, her third recording after Keep it to Yourself (Eclectus Records, 2011) and Necessary Evil (Eclectus Records, 2013). Tacitly labeled ‘vintage jazz/lounge music,’ the selections performed here are of more a period-popular type as opposed to straight jazz (think Rosemary Clooney and Dinah Shore as opposed to Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan). The benefit to this focus is Ainsworth opens wide the book of songs to be performed. Depending on one's definition, there are few ‘standards’ here (‘You Stepped Out of a Dream’ may the closest). This is a fun recording for becoming acquainted with music you may not be familiar with. It is in that, and the fine performances within, that mark the true value of this release.” - C. Michael Bailey, AllAboutJazz.com
“This is the third album by Laura Ainsworth, accompanied again by Brian Piper (piano, producer, arranger), John Adams (bass), Steve Barnes (drums), Chris McGuire (sax, clarinet), Rodney Booth (trumpet) and Dana Sudborough (vibes). She has a voice and style that don't belong to this century, let alone this decade. Laura is reaching back in time, and some of the songs contained on this album haven't been recorded for more than fifty years. This is music from the '40s and '50s, with even new songs chosen deliberately that sit within that style. She can gently sway in the bossa nova beat of ‘An Occasional Man’ or slow it right down and be the sultry smooth singer reminiscent of the likes of Julie London. Laura's father was Billy Ainsworth, who played sax in big bands, and the early exposure to soft and classic jazz has obviously had a major impact. Close your eyes, and drift into a different world.” – Kev Rowland, Gonzo Weekly
“It took the world years to discover that the DFW Metroplex is home to lots of great jazz. But there’s a fast-rising new sub-genre of jazz – vintage revival (lounge, exotica, bachelor pad music of the ‘40s-‘60s) – and with the release of her third album, New Vintage, and a best-of audiophile vinyl LP titled Top Shelf, DFW vocalist Laura Ainsworth is already being recognized worldwide as a leader of the movement. ..
Laura Ainsworth appears poised for a major breakthrough. August brought the release of both Top Shelf and New Vintage to rapturous reviews. Jazz radio programmers who were baffled by her elegant old-school sound in 2011 put New Vintage onto JazzWeek’s Most-Added chart in its debut week. August 24th brings her New York debut with Brian Piper at Manhattan’s posh Metropolitan Room. She’s also on the new edition of the popular This Is Vintage Now CD series and appearing on major lounge shows and podcasts such as Cocktail Nation, Lounging With Lombardi and Buddies Lounge. Laura says, ‘I think it’s funny that five years ago, I was 50 years behind the times. Today, I’m ahead of the trend!’” - Downtown Business News, Dallas