Laura Zakian’s ‘Songs for Modern Lovers’ has brought a fresh, elegant approach to a wide range
of songs without ever losing the heart.
There are fresh colours to the jazz palette with skilful, beautifully arranged interpretations of some great contemporary songs
from the likes of John Martyn and Paul Weller to redefined covers of classics from the American songbook.
I love her version of I Thought About You with its stylish, cool and slightly dark hued approach.
So an iced bourbon, a mellow evening and a song for a thoroughly modern romance? It’s all here.
On About Love: Laura Zakian once again shows a fine nose for rooting out interesting and unusual contemporary material. The trio of pop songs she covers all elicit A-list performances and masterly arrangements. Despite the song’s technical challenges (the melodic line sounds like a mutha to sing) ‘Disney Girls’ by Beach Boy Bruce Johnston illustrates Zakian’s strong storytelling gifts. The singer brings a hypnotic, incantatory quality to ‘Love Junkyard’, a song made famous by Rickie Lee Jones, while on ‘Two Grey Rooms’ – the concluding track on Joni Mitchell’s Night Ride Home album Read more
The cover pictures Ms Zakian looking thoroughly fed up with life, but that is by no means the prevailing atmosphere of the the music. Wistful at times, yes; miserable , no. This is her second CD , and it has all the qualities of the first – rhythmic poise, a sweet, direct voice without airs and graces, and an obvious love of the material. There are some beautiful songs here, like ‘whisper Not’ and ‘Never Let Me Go’ that really deserve this kind of attention, but rarely receive it. In fact, the Read more
An impressive debut album from this young singer. The female vocal scene has become quite crowded of late, but she has the style and personality to make a mark. Zakian can make a melody swing without beating it into submission first, and sings with a smile on her face – a pleasant relief after some of the doom-laden tones one hears so often these days. Her accompanying quartet features that excellent pianist Steve Melling and trombonist Mark Bassey, a superb, witty player and one to watch out Read more