Tell the World I Said So
'TELL THE WORLD I SAID SO' introduces a powerful new voice to jazz and the classic American songbook. Laura Underwood, making her long overdue recording debut, has successfully branded her signature sound onto 15 classics. She infuses the vintage material with such life, joy and sincerity that it is obvious she is an important talent well worth hearing. There are many jazz singers on the scene today, but Ms. Underwood's voice sticks in one's mind due to her mixture of enthusiasm, maturity, and strong musicianship. She sounds unlike anyone else.' 'TELL THE WORLD I SAID SO', which takes it's title from one of the lines in 'Your Mother's Son-in-Law,' showcases beautifully Ms. Underwood's expressive and versatile singing style. In addition to the core quartet of pianist John Jensen, guitarist Steve Blons, Jim tenBensel on horns (trumpet, trombone, bass trumpet) and bass, and drummer Damon Peterson, there are several guest spots for the harmonica of Clint Hoover, Russ Peterson on flute, tenor sax, clarinet and trumpet, and vibraphonist Steve Roehm, with bassist Nick Gaudette and Matthew Zimmerman on bongo helping out on one number a piece. Together they contribute concise and meaningful solos along with very sympathetic accompaniment. But the real star throughout is Laura Underwood, who sounds like she is having a ball. 'Route 66' gets the proceedings off to a swinging start. Followed by 'You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To', where she let's loose with her powerful voice on the final chorus. 'I Love Paris' has a particularly inventive arrangement, quoting 'An American In Paris'. 'Satin Doll' is taken at a relaxed pace with some fine tenor sax from Russ Peterson. 'Your Mother's Son-In-Law' is a witty song taken from Billie Holiday's very first record date in 1933. It gives Laura an opportunity to scat and interact soulfully with Jim tenBensel's trombone. 'Summertime' has beautiful and heartfelt singing along with a prominent role for John Jensen's piano and Nick Gaudette's bowed bass. 'All Of Me' swings happily before Laura performs a unique but logical medley of 'Swing Brother Swing' and 'It Don't Mean A Thing' which finds her swinging up a storm. 'Let Me Off Uptown', made famous by Anita O'Day with Gene Krupa's orchestra in 1941, has rarely been performed since. This revival works quite well. 'Button Up Your Overcoat' and 'Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You' both date from the late 1920s but Laura makes them sound relevant and timeless. 'What A Little Moonlight Can Do' is always performed at a rapid tempo but the singer is quite relaxed, sounding like she could have sailed over the ensemble for several minutes longer. Peggy Lee's 'Fever' is sung with plentgy of spirit and soul before a New Orleans parade version of 'Darktown Strutters Ball' closes the memorable recording. 'The flood gates are open and I'm raring to go,' says Laura Underwood. They certainly are, and a new talent has been unleashed for lovers of classic American music to enjoy! Scott Yanow, jazz critic, L.A. Jazz Scene.