With the release of her third CD I Can’t Wait To See You Again, Laurie Dameron has begun to establish herself in the relatively small but growing sorority of female Jazz Guitarists. The fact that she can also sing adds a breadth of commercialism to her music, which should surely help in getting her music out to a greater listening public. For this review though, I will focus more on Dameron’s Guitar Playing than her “delicate” vocal quality.*
Dameron’s playing is a nice blend of old school Jazz Guitar, Rock n’ Roll double stops and swing blues. Her Guitar tone is crisp and smooth, giving her just enough bite for when she does her Bluesy Jazz thang. Stylistically, she falls more in line with Charlie Christian and Scotty Moore than Emily Remler or Mimi Fox, but it is a style that she is very comfortable with and it works, especially given her song choices.
Dameron takes us on a musical journey back to the days when tunes like “Body And Soul”, “Blue Moon/I’m Beginning To See The Light”, “Don’t Sit Under That Apple Tree”, “Choo Choo Cha Boogie”, “I’ve Got A Crush On You” and “On The Sunny Side Of The Street” were the popular tunes on the radio and in the Dance Halls. To her credit she doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel but rather treats these tunes as they were meant to be played, with plenty of swing and cool, respecting the songs for what they are instead of approaching them as vehicles for long blowing sessions.
This is not to say that there is no extended blowing on these tunes. Just check out Dameron’s playing on ‘Everyday I Have The Blues”, “Body And Soul”, “Blue Moon/I’m Beginning To See The Light”, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Route 66” to name but a few where she really goes to town!
Also joining her in improvisational splendor is Saxophonist Laura Newman who gets to blow a few potent solos of her own. She really digs into the changes on “Blue Moon/I’m Beginning To See The Light”, “I’ve Got A Crush On You”, and “When Sunny Gets Blue”, where she shares solo duties with Bassist Michael Olson who also gets to shine on “Body And Soul” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’”.
Rounding out the solo space is the clarinet stylings of Dexter Payne during “On The Sunny Side Of The Street”, and the warm, lush Flute tones of Bob Rebholz on the tune “How Insensitive”. Throughout it all, Drummer Larry Thompson keeps things swinging and grooving alongside Keyboardist Holly Halverson and guest Bassist Bijoux Barbosa, who appears on two of the twelve cuts.
I Can’t Wait To See You Again is an enjoyable outing by Laurie and if I had any criticism to lay down it would be that there is only one original tune by Ms. Dameron and not a whole album’s worth! The title track is as comfortable as an old sweater, so much so that I actually thought I had heard it before and was genuinely surprised to find it was an original composition by Laurie. If there are more tunes like that up her writer’s sleeve, then I can’t wait to hear her next CD 🙂
*According to the Denver Post as indicated on the back of Dameron’s CD.
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