New Vintage is Dallas-based retro jazz vocalist Laura Ainsworth’s third release on Eclectus Records (fourth if you count her audiophile vinyl best-of LP, “Top Shelf.”) Her debut, Keep It To Yourself, garnered worldwide radio play and critical raves (“The whole album is among the year’s most consistently engaging jazz releases, performed with class and heartfelt passion.” – AllAboutJazz.com). Her follow-up, Necessary Evil,upped the ante with a big band horn section and film noir theme (“Laura Ainsworth has not only met the incredible standard set by her debut recording, but surpassed it…” – Eric Harabadian.
Now, her third release New Vintage is being hailed as her breakthrough, an album that places her at the forefront of the rising lounge/exotica/bachelor pad genre. One word that critics have used repeatedly in describing it is “perfect” – from her entrancing, pitch-perfect voice to the creative arrangements, the brilliant musical accompaniment and the sterling audio quality, courtesy of Crystal Clear Sound. Even the packaging – with its striking images of Laura’s trademark red hair, gorgeous face and figure, elegant gowns and elbow-length gloves – is reminiscent of the classic LP covers of the sultry chanteuses of the 1950s.
With New Vintage, Laura Ainsworth perfects the things her fans have grown to love: brilliant reinventions of well-worn standards such as “Nevertheless” and “Long Ago and Far Away” (here spun into a medley with “You Stepped Out of a Dream”)…Stunning new versions of forgotten gems not recorded in over half a century, such as the long-lost Johnny Mercer ballad, “It’s A Nuisance Having You Around” and “All About You,” once described by Irving Berlin as a “perfect love song”…And creative new mixes of the old and new, such as turning a dated blues/rock song from the swingin’ ’70s into “I Once Knew A Fella,” both a rollicking celebration of female sexual empowerment and a musical salute to the raunchy sax stylings of Vegas legend Sam Butera, a former bandmate of Laura’s dad. Top it all off with an outstanding original song – “The Man I Love Is Gone” by Laura and George Gagliardi – that sounds like the best midcentury standard that you’ve never heard before. It’s no wonder both critics and radio hosts are hailing Laura Ainsworth for bringing the Great American Songbook into the 21st century!
Retro jazz vocalist Laura Ainsworth grew up steeped in the Great American Songbook and surrounded by some of the greatest jazz musicians of the 20th century, thanks to her late dad, renowned big band sax/clarinet prodigy, Billy Ainsworth. Today, she combines those elegant midcentury lounge jazz sounds with her own witty, sexy, modern twists to create an irresistible cocktail that critics have dubbed New Vintage. That’s the name of her terrific third album, which has scored Laura rave reviews, a place on JazzWeek’s Most-Added radio chart, and feature articles in such national publications as Downbeat and Cabaret Scenes.
Based in Dallas, Laura works with longtime pianist/producer Brian Piper, recently honored as “Dallas Jazz Musician of the Year,” and some of the top musicians in North Texas to create both her live shows (she has performed from Manhattan to India to Dubai) and her three critically-acclaimed albums: Keep It To Yourself, Necessary Evil,and now her breakthrough, New Vintage. Her silky, three-octave voice has been compared to such icons as Rosemary Clooney, Julie London and Dinah Shore, and described by reviewers as “rich and distinctive,” “impossibly old-fashioned,” “a mirror reflection into the past,” “the very portrait of West Coast cool,” and “as sweet as a meadowlark crossed with a hummingbird.”
Laura takes inspiration from such idols as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, not by slavishly imitating their styles, but by doing what they did: finding the best songs – whether new, standards, or long-forgotten gems – and putting her own fresh, unique spin on them. Her music, like her life, is devoted to preservation, whether it’s restoring her midcentury modern childhood home, filling it with rescued and disabled exotic birds, or breathing exciting new life into the music of the ’20s-’50s to reintroduce it to a whole new generation!