Laurin Talese | Gorgeous Chaos

Laurin Talese - Gorgeous Chaos

Laurin Talese | Gorgeous Chaos
by Peggy Oliver

A vocalist who can stunningly transform lyrics and capture the audience’s ears is not always easy to attain. Laurin Talese, who sang in church growing up, was a marvelously gifted talent who attended the Cleveland (Ohio) School of Music, but her musical savvy would eventually whisk her away from home to shape her dream career. With influences from Lambert, Hendricks & Ross to Gregory Porter, Talese left her save haven of Cleveland for the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, majoring in jazz music performance. This delightful chanteuse has sang background for Bilal and grown into a seasoned international performer traveling to Austria, Brazil, For her debut, Gorgeous Chaos, Talese teams up with some of today’s musical giants such as the Christian McBride Trio, Adam Blackstone, Robert Glasper and Vivian Green (who teamed with Talese on “Light The Universe” from The Green Room), along with Eric Wortham from her touring band. Gorgeous Chaos (from Blackstone’s Bassic Black Entertainment) presents a mostly enjoyable canvas that expresses Talese’s diverse musicality and songwriting spinning the unpredictable world of love and romance.

The timeless standard, “Someone to Watch Over Me,” launches Gorgeous Chaos in splendid ways by spotlighting the bright colors and warm tone of Talese’s voice beginning with a cappella, followed by acoustic piano that never intrudes on her vocal paintings. “My Husband” unveils a witty Broadway theater tale of strong admiration for a strong man: “He works for weeks on end without a bit of rest/No other way can he achieve his level best.” Still another classy ballad is “Tick Tock” that models the movement of a clock: “But your heart beats warmer/The clicking of this tick tock/Goes the grandfather clock on the mantelpiece”.

On the contemporary urban jazz side, the opening trademark notes from Glaspar glistening electric piano on “Winter” could find a place on his Black Radio series. “Forgive & Forget,” where women accept their faults in the relationship, effortlessly bridges R&B and traditional jazz.

“Love Poems” leans on a mild funk lining, revolving around a heavenly backing chorus that gorgeously seals the piece, although the over intense drumming tends to negate Talese’s vocal textures. In a more suitable musical setting, “This Love” proves Talese confidently navigates the shifting be-bop rhythms. Delivering some cool jazz vibes on Gorgeous Chaos, “Kissing A Fool” reunites Talese and Green philosophizing about love’s disappointments: “People/You can never change the way they feel.” All in all, this engaging zone Talese calls Gorgeous Chaos accentuates her vocal and storytelling strengths along with on-point song interpretations that stirs this crazy big thing she deems as love. Four and a half out of five stars.

Peggy Oliver
The Urban Music Scene

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