Laura Lantano: Returning To Myself

5th May 2023

Hard to believe that this stunning album is the debut recording from Laura Lantano. So assured is Laura’s performance, and that of her exceptional companions on this musical journey. In this beautiful and delicate album, pianist Sam Leakand tenor saxophonist **Duncan Eagle**provide the perfect setting to bring the music to life and allow Laura to tell her stories through the power of song.

In a bold move Laura has chosen to record a set of original compositions, each of which tells its own story of love, heartache and putting the past behind and starting afresh. With each song Laura establishes a rapport with the music and lyrics finding a way to bring these elements together in intricate arrangements that have an ability to communicate in a very personal way.

Music has always played an important part in Laura’s life from starting to play piano at the age of four to writing her first song at eight. From there on her musical grounding came from playing classical pieces by Bach and Beethoven as a teenager along with developing her interest in song writing.

Discovering jazz, she would listen to Betty Carter and Carmen McRae as well as learning jazz standards. These early influences would remain with Laura, strengthening her belief that improvisation is important in life and music, and spontaneity should be encouraged in both. This spontaneity can be heard in Laura’s song writing that capture the up and downs of life and the gamut of human emotions. The title track tells of returning home and a new beginning. The bright and optimistic delivery of the lyrics is echoed in Duncan Eagles’s wonderful dialogue with the Laura and Sam Leaks uplifting piano. This uplifting feeling is also a feature of the inspirational ‘All Is Not Lost’, with the contributions of Eagles and Leak lifting Laura’s vocals and the meaning in the lyrics, instilling the belief that one can achieve their dreams.

The range of emotion brought to the lyric by Laura’s warm and rich voice are further demonstrated on the pensive ballad ‘I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’. Leaks’s piano accompaniment echoes the sentiments of the lyrics, while the tenor saxophone line has a hint of resignation and loneliness. So compelling is Laura’s hushed tones of acceptance along with contrasting defiance that one can feel the emotions of heartache, loss and anger.

With Returning To Myself, Laura Lantano has produced an album of contemporary songs that draw on life experiences that are easily relatable. A powerful statement from a new breed of singer / songwriter that acknowledges the traditional and finding her own voice in the process.

Laura Lantano

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