I Want to Be Happy
Since moving to New York from her native Australia, Jo Lawry has become one of the most impressive voices of a new generation of jazz vocalists. This debut album features songs and standards arranged beautifully by Ms. Lawry (\'I Want to Be Happy\') as well as sparkling original songs (\'Small House\'), thoughtful re-imaginings of pop songs (\'February\' and \'Until\') and an infectious Brazilian tune that will leave you breathless (\'Loro\'). From the beautiful reading of traditional song in \'The Water is Wide\' to the vocal gymnastics of her original \'In a Spin\', Jo Lawry simultaneously displays both virtuosity and sensitivity. The eclectic powerhouse \'Tried and Tried\' defies classification and shows that Ms. Lawry is an artist whose range has not yet been charted. Not to be missed are the duo selections: with guitarist Keith Ganz, she neatly takes on jazz standards (\'I'm Old Fashioned\', \'I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry\') and \'I Could Have Danced All Night\' with percussionist James Shipp is a shining example of Ms. Lawry's extraordinary musicianship. On this album, Jo Lawry at once tests the limits of technical facility and explores the furthest reaches of musical expression. Her music, steeped in the jazz tradition without being constrained by it's traditional forms and functions, demonstrates a unique combination of maturity and inventiveness.