First, my pet peeve about female vocalists: most of them sound like past their prime princesses who are giving one last shot at doing something with their lives, or are relying on their,ahem, other resources to get their music out. The reason I’m putting this out up front is because Lauren Meccia comes across here like a real musician who happens to sing. Why?
Good question! Well, along with singing, she plays the soprano, tenor and alto saxes, and does so very well on the longing and thoughtful “Atlantis” which has her soprano meld gloriously with some strings,
as well showing some optimistic alto on a lovely “What the World Needs Now.” And, because of her wonderful sound on the horn, you can tell that she’s practiced long tones until she’s blue in the face, because as a vocalist she has a crystal clear sound that rings like a bell, and can effortlessly go for drawing out a lyric as on “Inside Your Eyes” and yet she can also clip out a series of words like she’s jumping through an obstacle course as on the peppy “How High the Moon” or the sizzling “One Note Samba.” Her voice resonates like a glass organ on the luminescent “You Don’t Know What Love Is.”
She also shows some talent in composing, as she teams with the adroitly fingered pianist Donald Vega for many of the tunes. Vega is simply majesterial here, with a playful support and solo on “Cheek to Cheek” as well as a lovely duet with Meccia on “Over the Rainbow.” Producer and bassist Mike Frost provides supple and sensitive support throughout, particularly on a palpable “The Look of Love” while Brian Czach/dr and Edwin Hamilton/perc fill up most of the rhythm duties, along with a handful of guests. This is an impressive lady, and it should be great to see what she can do in a concert setting. Bring it on!