Laura Ainsworth has a rich cabaret-styled voice with a nifty and well-timed vibrato on this album with Brian Piper/key, John Adams/b, Steve Barnes/perc, Chris McGuire/reeds, Peter Brewer/fl, Rodney Booth/tp and Dana Sudorough/vib. She can get bluesy with Piper’s striding piano on “A Little Jive Is Good For You” and is clear with the steady vibes on “I’ll Take Romance.” She slinks with the best on “That’s How I Got My Start” and serves up a Latin dish with Brewer during “An Occasional Man.” A mix of vintage and artsy.
Nigerian singer Douye’ has a molasses thick voice and keeps it subdued and misty on this rich collection of vintage standards with an all star team including Kenny Barron/p, Ron Carter/b, Bob Sheppard/sax, John Clayton/b, John Clayton/b and Roy McCurdy/dr. Usually associated with R&B, Douye’ is absolutely convincing as she serves up a husky yet subdued set which includes a warm “But Beautiful” an elliptical “Round Midnight” and seductively samba’d “Autumn Leaves.” Her voice sounds like a clarinet during “Mood Indigo” and her bass-vocal duet on “Nature Boy” is drop dead stunning. This is a keeper!!
Lori Williams mixes gospel, R&B and soulful jazz on her catalogue of 3 albums, all of which are of high quality. Beginning in 2010, her Healing Within album shows a relaxed and assured voice, strong and swinging on a clever take of “Little Sunflower” and her cirrus cloud “Blue In Green” has her hover without gravity. Her 2012 Eclipse album has her delivery an earthy modal read of “Mother Black Crow” and a forward charging take of “Body and Soul.” From her most recent Behind the Smiles, she’s dreamy on “Through Your Eyes/Iris,” bluesy during “It’s Save T Dream” and funky during “Behind the Smiles.” All of her albums include a church spiritual, and her delivery of “Song of Praise/It Is Well” on this one is truly God glorifying. A ringer!