When Lauren began recording Avalon, the title track wasn’t even conceived, but the child was. “I began work on this project shortly after I became pregnant,” says Lauren. “It was a way to set a place marker before everything got completely reframed by the perspective of parenthood.” From that session came the thread that connects Hardly Blinking, Lauren’s debut recording, to Avalon. “Savor the Wine” was written for her then new husband, but was not included in the HB line up. It also lives smack dab in the middle of Lauren's transition from the music sitting on the more adult alternative side of things to tipping more toward the jazz scale. “Dory and a Single Oar” found a vibe that combined an intriguing form, a swingy bluesy melody and lyrics that told an evocative story. Having Donny McAslin wreak havoc on the tune completed her vision and set the pace for the rest of the music to follow. Avalon is by no means a traditional jazz CD, but the way Lauren mixes her experience with that music, her love of the singer/songwriter narrative and blending great musicians with envelope bending music, you find yourself wondering what isn’t this music? Lauren isn't a purist, she likes how words and music feel, that is the leading impulse. Avalon was created over a long space of time. Balancing parenthood with touring in the New York Voices was already challenging. Finding free time to compose and perform became lifelines and ways to remember a muse that had been put away temporarily. While on tour in Uruguay, Lauren penned “Here is my Avalon,” the title track to the CD. It’s a love song from a mother to a daughter. Some momentum was gained by this and songs began to free flow from there. Other jewels are “There Alone Go I,” a unique poem that sings about letting go and reverence of self, seemingly polar themes elegantly united. Joining her on “Until You’re Mine” and “Here is my Avalon” is the one and only Romero Lubambo, while Joel Frahm threads his tenor into the title track so beautifully. Jonatha Brooke shares the duet on “Here After”; an homage to the loss of a loved one. Other songs like “Hide the Moon and Stars” celebrate life and “Move Over Sunshine” yearns for the night to last. Rob Mounsey offers a gorgeous string arrangement, horn sections are added here and there and Lauren’s voice is the narrator and ring leader throughout.
Ben Wittman co produces this collection with her, adding his extraordinary sensibilities as a drummer, arranger, composer and engineer. Jack of all trades, master of all.
Avalon, “you’re mine for now.”