It Had to Be Swing
Often compared to the late singers Karen Carpenter and Eva Cassidy, vocalist and songwriter Laura Pursell blends a combination of angelic soulfulness with west coast cool. Her voice and music defy categorization - she has recorded everything from jazz to pop to country to electronica. No stranger to the music business, Laura was raised in Nashville, and her father is Bill Pursell, who had his own hit record on Columbia in 1963, as the artist on the instrumental single "Our Winter Love". She moved to Angeles in 1991 to pursue acting, but it was an intimate performance by the late jazz great Shirley Horn at the Hollywood Roosevelt one night that made her turn to music. She threw all her resources into music, studying with jazz veterans, sitting in at jazz venues in and around LA, performing with the likes of Earl Palmer, Ross Tomkins, Ron Anthony, and Chuck Berghofer. In 1998, Laura emptied her savings account and dove into the studio to start recording 14 standards from the Great American Songbook under the helm of Grammy Award winner Rusty Higgins. Featuring an all-star line-up of musicians (Carl Saunders, Andy Martin, Trey Henry, Kevin Winard, Chuck Hoover, John Kurnick, and Rusty Higgins), Laura also brought in the powerhouse vocals of Julia Holland to sing on three duets. During the recording, Laura signed with Netcom Music, which took over the project and enabled it's completion. This CD became her first full-length effort, "It Had to Be Swing". "It Had to Be Swing" debuted in the winter of 2000 on radio stations across the country. Featured standards include "Skylark" (with an arrangement by her father), "The Song is You", "Almost Like Being in Love, and other danceable swing-era tunes. Laura had the privilege to share this album with the great Les Brown prior to his death, who stated that his favorite track was "The Song is You". Laura Pursell's entire discography is available here on CD Baby - in addition to 'The Song is You', check out 'Unkissed' (recorded at the historic Bradley's Barn in Nashville), 'That's What Christmas Used to Be' (her holiday album), and 'Somewhere in This Room' (a collection of highly personal, original tunes).