Lauren White

At Last
(Groove Note Records)

New vocalists emerge on the jazz scene every year, but Texas-based Lauren White is one who gratifies the listener through the honesty she gives to the selections included on her debut, which blends several standards from the Great American Songbook with a handful of originals. One tune that immediately stands out is "Superstar," the Delaney & Bonnie song made famous by The Carpenters. White's delivery makes the song her own, something that is difficult to achieve when a tune is associated so closely with another artist. Her rendition of Roy Orbison's "Blue Bayou" is notable for its bossa nova arrangement, in which she sings as softly as anyone who has successfully taken on the Brazilian-bred genre. Among the original tunes, "Do You Remember?" is memorable — a bluesy arrangement highlights lyrics about a past love affair that do not look back with sadness but express melancholy for good times gone by. At Last is a disc that showcases the young singer's talent, both as a songwriter and as a vocalist. Joe Harley's production highlights White's voice but also gives the musicians their due, which is where many discs by vocalists often fail. But here? Success.

 
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