Review: Laird Jackson

Laird Jackson
(Consolidated Artists Productions)

Laird Jackson is a gifted young vocalist that already boasts the effortlessly delivered patient and measured phrasing that marks the best mature vocalists. This 11-track album mixes originals from Jackson with songs by Stevie Wonder (“Visions”), Joni Mitchell (“Tin Angel”), Donovan (“Catch the Wind”) and more. Having already released and album of pre-1950 standards, her 1994 debut “Quiet Flame”, Jackson now takes a more contemporary approach. Toward this end, there is a Brazilian fell on “Visions” as well as her own “Towards the Sun” due to the percussion. This song, like much of the album, features quick but bright episodes of instrument improvisation from her New York band of Bruce Barth (piano), Joe Ford (alto sax), John Benitez (bass), Cecil Bridgewater (trumpet) and Clarence Penn (drums).