I enjoyed a most memorable evening with Australian-born (New York based) vocalist Jo Lawry and Seattle’s own pianist extraordinaire Bill Anschell as part of Nich Anderson’s JazzVox house concert series, and she truly is a revelation! It’s no small wonder that Jo has emerged as one of the most uniquely gifted and charismatic artists in a very long time. She has collaborated with such luminaries as Fred Hersch, Sting, Bobby McFerrin, and Kate McGarry to name a few and continues to enthrall peer musicians and audiences alike wherever she goes.
Her refreshingly spontaneous delivery and nuanced vocal inflections perfectly revealed a varied palette of emotions and each song was an absolute treasure. She sang an eclectic array of arrangements from stunning originals to inventive re-imaginings of favorite classics. They included her hauntingly beautiful “The Water is Wide” and “Prelude to Happiness” as well as Johnny Mercer’s “I’m Old Fashioned” and Egberto Gismontis’ infectious Brazilian tune “Loro”.
Jo Lawry’s voice is like a finely honed instrument that displays impeccable improvisational prowess, and her way with words and phrasing are sheer eloquence. Jo’s sunny demeanor coupled with her incredible musicianship, irresistible sense of swing and fearless attitude make her a force to be reckoned with in the jazz world, and she will be long remembered for years to come. Her debut album entitled “I Want To Be Happy” features the above songs plus duo selections with guitarist Keith Ganz, and simply defies classification while demonstrating her seemingly limitless range.
It was such a privilege to be able to see her in an intimate house concert setting and no doubt she’ll make a return visit in the very near future. Please visit Jo Lawry’s MySpace site, www.myspace.com/jolawry for music samples and her upcoming gigs as well as Nich Anderson’s wonderful website, jazzvox.com, for all the latest JazzVox concert and artist information.