What The World Needs Now Is Love focuses on Laura's fascination for the 30s and 40s Big Band music craze. We decided that the recording needed to be “live” in order to effectively re-create the tone of the Big Band era, and we wanted it to showcase Laura's signature jazz and blues style which we called New Vintage Jazz. We spent two years rounding up the right arrangements and then collaborated with the late, great saxophonist/arranger, Juliene Purefoy and her excellent 17 piece band to produce this dynamic collection of favorite jazz and pop standards played with a fresh twist! Joined by the Juliene Purefoy Big Band and featuring special guests Brian Murphy, Chuck Bergeron, Doug Michels, Hernan “Teddy” Mulet, Noah Brandmark and Lee Schwartz, this fine recording will take you into the world of New Vintage Jazz. Celebrated jazz pianist Bertha Hope remarked, in response to this recording, “Laura Theodore sings rings around anyone on the jazz, blues or pop scene today.” LISTEN TO SAMPLE TRACKS HERE
1. Some Of My Best Friends Are The Blues
2. I’m In The Mood For Love
3. Come Rain Or Come Shine
4. How Deep Is The Ocean
5. Fever (Listen as MP3)
6. The Very Thought Of You
7. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
8. What The World Needs Now Is Love
10. You’ve Got To See Mama Ev’ry Night
11. Why Should I Care
12. Tisket A Tasket/The Lady Is A Tramp
LISTEN TO SAMPLE TRACKS HERE
Reviews of What The World Needs Now Is Love
As a singer, Cleveland-born-and-raised Laura Theodore has it all. A dynamic four-octave range that allows her to soar, crystal coloratura clear into the Maynard-sphere and then power-dive into the growling grit-and-gravel of the gutter, effortlessly and believably, with no glitches, gaps, gulps or gasps in the transition.
What’s more, she has the imagination and daring to explore new, meaningful interpretations of well-known lyrics and give them fresh, innovative excitement and relevance; she has an inherent “jazz-sense” that permeates and electrifies her every performance, which she aptly describes as “New Vintage Jazz.”
Backings include “doing-it-the-hard-way” with acoustic bass only on one track, a trio on a few others, and Julien Purefoy’s Big Band on most. Whatever the setting, La Belle Theodore is outstanding. Sensational tracks include the Big Band-powered opener, “Some Of My Best Friends Are The Blues,” a pulsating, sensual update on Peggy Lee’s “Fever,” and an intimate, longing rendition of Clint Eastwood’s composition, “Why Should I Care?”
For free audio samplings of all her CDs, along with a bio, photos, reviews, online purchasing info and everything else you might want to know about this singing sensation, visit: www.lauratheodore.com. ’Tis browsing that will both pleasure and illuminate.
Fritz the Nite Owl, Short North Gazette, April 2006
Laura Theodore has one of the most striking voices in jazz—a clear mezzo that drops unexpectedly into a rich and throaty tenor and soars upward again at the drop of a beat. Lovers of vocal jazz will enjoy this album.
Rick Anderson, All Music Guide
“Her voice has a natural fullness to it, a deep contralto, onto which she sometimes sprinkles a little salt, and often aims for the sultry. . . . [I am] recommending this album to fans of jazz vocals.”
“Laura Theodore has an unusual voice with a wide range and her intriguing disc is full of surprises. She sticks to standards and gives some of the songs unexpected treatments. What The World Needs Now Is Love is worth checking out.”
Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene
Laura has a big voice with tons of character. Her personal touch has lots of fearless expression placing her among today’s best jazz singers. O’s Jazz Favorites, May 2004
The world may need love now, but it also needs more original artists like Laura Theodore. The vocalist opens her new CD with a smoldering and sultry “Some of My Best Friends Are The Blues”…... and the band gets the blues, too, with an R&B atmosphere and a stinging muted trumpet solo followed by the salacious growl of tenor sax. Laura Theodore explores her full four octave range on this outing, and she also explores a range of styles—delving into deep blues on the opener; swinging hard on “Come Rain or Come Shine”; a seductive bass/vocal caress on “How Deep is the Ocean.” A bright and brassy take on that song that Peggy Lee made famous, “Fever,” the band wailing. It sounds like it was a gas to watch this one get put down on tape—it’s brasher and less sultry than Ms. Lee’s take, but no less compelling, and it’s obvious that Laura T. loves this tune. Theodore’s vocal style is original, flowing from a rich and resonant low end to a girlish and charmingly coy higher register.
Don McClenaghan, www.allaboutjazz.com
The possessor of a wide-ranging voice, which she enjoys using to its full effect, she has a take-charge manner that I like a lot - perhaps an idiosyncratic reaction to the flood of sometimes half-hearted young singers around these days. This bold approach never hurts the intentions of composers and lyricists, though. On one track she is accompanied only by Bergeron, on a few others by a trio of piano, bass and drums, but the majority of tracks are with Purefoy’s big band and the charts are there to be ripped into. Fiery and attention-grabbing playing and singing by musicians I will certainly seek out again. The core rhythm section is very good indeed and lift the singer in the small group and punch the big band along. Good one, musically, and good sound, too.
Bruce Crowther, Jazz Journal International
Laura Theodore will find many new fans with the release of her CD collection, WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE. Highly enjoyable!
Lee Prosser, www.jazzreview.com
There’s an idiosyncratic quality to her voice, probably due in no small part to the 4 octave range she employs, but also because there is an almost indefinable texture to her singing that isn’t like anyone else I’ve heard.... Throughout the album she constantly makes the transition from low down blues and melancholy to exhilaration and effervescence. Her voice has just enough quirk and individuality to make it memorable amid the plethora of chanteuses, a bit feisty, a bit coy. I hope we’ll be hearing more from her.
Paul Donnelly, ejazznews.com
It is best not to try and judge a singer by the picture on the liner; the demure looking Laura Theodore sheds that mantle the moment she approaches a microphone. The opening track “Some Of My Best Friends Are The Blues” immediately establishes her as a singer with power and versatility; singing mostly as a mezzo-soprano she can go lower and considerably higher in an amazing four-octave range. This singer/actor is secure and comfortable in any octave, she is happy to experiment and surprises with little nuances and changes that inflect her lines constantly. She can be skittish, playful, serious or just torching, but there is always plenty of excitement and flair. The Juliene Purefoy Big Band backs well, there are some great arrangements; “S' Wonderful” is a swinger arranged by Kevin Wedrychowski and features John Kricker on trombone, Juliene Purefoy on sax and flute and the trumpet of Hernan “Teddy” Mulet. This is followed by “You've Got To See Mamma Ev’ry Night” arranged by John Curtin; both pieces have Laura in belter mode. A fine, assured and well balanced performer; [What the World Needs Now is Love] is a must buy for those who like Jazz vocals.
Ferdinand Maylin, www.jazznow.com
Laura Theodore sings rings around anyone on the jazz, blues or pop scene today.
Bertha Hope, celebrated jazz pianist
Laura & her aggregation are simply put: Jazz specialists.
George W. Carroll/The Musicians’ Ombudsman, ejazznews.com
Theodore is enjoying the songs she sings and brings back a very nostalgic look at when life seemed a little simpler. Delightful!
Irene Wadkins, Jazz Journalist
Theodore swings with charisma.... With a vocal range that spans four octaves, Laura Theodore has the flair of a Broadway star on “S’ Wonderful” but can also treat you to a personal tale of woe on “Why Should I Care.” The versatility of this program makes it a worthwhile addition to those enthusiastic about jazz vocals.
Paula Edelstien, Sounds of Timeless Jazz
She has a sound influenced by Sarah Vaughan and Sheila Jordan.
Randy McElligott, CHOU Canada
For those of you who have yet to hear Laura Theodore’s spectacular four-octave singing range or watch her perform on stage, television or in films, there’s a treat in store.... Not only will this CD give her fans a taste of her musical skills, but it will again cite the versatility and charisma of this vocalist whose voice continues to stun both her audiences and critics. Get out to see and hear this talented performer and be certain to purchase her new CD.
Kappy Kapner, Suburban News
Laura Theodore, Vocals
Brian Murphy, Piano
Chuck Bergeron, Acoustic Bass
Lee Schwartz, Drums
Juliene Purefoy, Tenor Saxophone & Flute
Hernan “Teddy” Mulet, Lead Trumpet
Doug Michels, Lead Trumpet
Noah Brandmark, Tenor Saxophone
Mark Hurwitz, Alto Saxophone
John Kricker, Lead Trombone
Paul Ayick, Trumpet
Mike Balogh, Trombone
Mike Brignola, Baritone Saxophone
Dave Dickey, Trombone
Jim Hayward, Tenor Saxophone
Dale Sloman, Trumpet
Jim Trimbal, Trombone
Produced By: Laura Theodore
Executive Producer: Andy Ebberbach
Recording Engineer: Michael Fourens
Big Band Conducted By: Juliene Purefoy
Recorded Live At: International Recording Studios, North Miami Beach, on January 7-8, 2002
Mixed By: Andy Ebberbach
Photos : Joe Orecchio
Hair & Makeup: Christina Turino
CD Graphics: Brian Shelford for Nordec Inc.
CD Replication: Digirom
Studio Assistant: Ami Haddad
Digital Transfers: Mark Berger at Toy Specialist, NYC