New Vintage from swinging blues vocalist Laura Ainsworth incites listeners to grab their favorite cocktail and dim the lights while engulfed in the smooth jazz ether of her music. The bossa nova sway of "An Occasional Man" has an island-imbued ambience laden with the calypso beats of drummer Steve Barnes and bassist John Adams, suspending the gentle flutter of the softly percolating horns.
The ragtime tunage of Annette Hanshaw's "Wasting My Love on You" is bolted in brushed drum strokes reminiscent of the libretto Porgy and Bess written by Ira and George Gershwin. The saloon-hued tone of Brian Piper's piano keys has a vaudeville flicker with a vintage bluesy tint liken to Betty Boop's "Minnie the Moocher" number circa 1932. Ainsworth muses, "You took all my kisses / I thought that you cared / Now what am I going to do / I've wasted my time / Wasted my love on you, just you... love is such a fickle thing / Still I cling to bygone memories / How could I forget the bliss of your kiss / That used to burn / How I yearn."
The pensive aura of the keys ruminating in slowly choreographed whispers along "Nevertheless" is the backdrop for Ainsworth's narrative about the aches of coming out of a love affair. She intimates, "Left with a heart that is breaking / Maybe I'll live a life of regrets / And maybe I'll give much more than I get / But nevertheless I'm in love with you." The introspective vibe of the track illuminates a positive glint through the forlorn peal of the lyrics as the keys create a cushion for the lyrics to mull over emotions in quiet contemplation.
Moving on, the relaxing pace of the keys cruising along "A Little Jive Is Good for You" holds up the leisurely stroll of Ainsworth's vocals then erupt into a jumping blues beat in the center of the track where the horns and keys let loose, rambling in a freestyle penmanship. The sauntering gait of "Nothing Can Replace a Man" has a Broadway showtunes vigor, drifting into the cabaret twinkle of "Long Ago and Far Away You Stepped out of Dream" bolstering a Golden Age of Hollywood lilt, and closing the recording with the western swing beats of "I Once Knew a Fella" reflective of the popular '60s tune "Secret Agent Man" by P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri.
Ainsworth's versatility in jazz-based repertoires is invigorating as she moves between the classic forms of ragtime, cabaret, blues, jive, and western swing. New Vintage embraces the vintage sounds of classic jazz and gives the genre a modern lift.
Musicians: Laura Ainsworth - vocals, Brian Piper - piano, John Adams - bass, Steve Barnes - drums, Chris McGuire - saxophone and clarinet, Rodney Booth - trumpet, Dana Sudborough - vibraphone
Tracklisting: That's How I Got My Start, I'll Take Romance, Where Did the Magic Go, An Occasional Man, Wasting My Love on You, Nevertheless, A Little Jive Is Good for You, The Man I Love Is Gone, All about You, Nothing Can Replace a Man, It's a Nuisance Having You Around, Long Ago and Far Away You Stepped out of Dream, I Once Knew a Fella