Jessica Lauren - FourFreestyle
Pianist Jessica Lauren has built a diverse resume, having chaired with everyone from soul icons Jean Carne and Dexter Wansel, to present day visionaries like Emanative and Scrimshire . With “Jessica Lauren Four” she has blended elements of soul, gospel and Latin Jazz melodies into an impressive intimate engagement worthy of repeated listens. The disc kicks off with the hypnotic “White Mountain”, an ambient tune filled with deep grooves and lush rhythms that would fit comfortably either on the dance floor or in your dining room. Jessica glides into an assortment of Latin arrangements that showcase her superb use of time and space, effectively allowing her compositions to breathe and her musicians to shine. That’s apparent on “Mel Benson” where David “Booie” Gallagher and Paul Gunter’s rhythmic percussion wizardry erupt throughout the track. “Swamp Thing” is haunting, moody and simply gorgeous, thanks in part to bassist Andrew Kramer’s dark grooves. Legendary vocalist Jocelyn Brown appears on the disco flavored “Happiness Train” but it’s the gospel inspired “I Believe”, highlighted by Jessica’s shivering organ grinding that will awaken your spirit. “Jessica Lauren Four” is filled with compositions benefiting from her delicate approach that ultimately evolves into one enjoyable record.
Reg Dancy, 05/12