Connie Lansberg | High Expectations

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High Expectations

by Connie Lansberg

Jazz Standards sung with a voice that simply releases the melody. Combine a great sense of fun and real pathos with rising star Matt Boden on piano, Steve Hadley on Bass and Peter Hodges on drums makes this CD so refreshing.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz-Pop
Release Date: 

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1. Teach Me Tonight
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4:00 $0.99
2. Down With Love
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2:59 $0.99
3. High Expectations
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4:38 $0.99
4. Our Day Will Come
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4:11 $0.99
5. Crazy
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4:27 $0.99
6. Sugar
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3:45 $0.99
7. All of Me
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2:25 $0.99
8. Georgia
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4:34 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
She Has “High Expectations”
Steve Robertson “Jazz on Saturday” PBS 106.7

Some of the brightest stars in the jazz singing firmament have also enjoyed distinguished careers as actresses. Think of Annie Ross, for example, or Julie London or Cleo Laine. Peggy Lee, Billie Holiday all had a go at screen acting while enjoying fruitful careers as much-admired vocalists.
So it should be no surprise that Melbourne’s own Connie Lansberg has won raves, not just for her singing talents but also for her acting, which, unlike most of the others, actually came first.
Even though acting is a glamour job, it has never replaced Connie’s love of music. As a child she sang and played guitar, in church, mostly. The appreciation for jazz didn’t arrive until later. Working in her original pop group meant discovering another love, dance.
And that’s exactly what she does in her regular singing dates at Dizzy’s Jazz Club, the vocalist of choice for the much-admired Dizzy’s Big Band on Wednesday nights. She’s also been known to cha cha or boogie through a tune with her own small combo at Manchester Lane, the elegant mid-city Melbourne eatery with delectable music four nights a week.
With the big band, the repertoire is strictly standards. Teach Me Tonight is a special favorite; so is Blue Skies or All The Things You Are. Others in her vast repertoire include Georgia, It’s Alright With Me, Lullaby of Birdland, and a really unique version of Cry Me A River. At Manchester Lane, she’s more likely to treat her audience to some of her many original compositions.
But whether it’s something old or something very new, the song, especially the feelings behind it, comes through with crystal clarity. Not simply because Connie possesses the actor’s gift of good enunciation and projection. No, it’s more than that. It’s the way she obviously thinks about what the lyrics mean, perhaps how their message might resonate in her own life. It’s the actress in her. She’s playing her part, and she’s also living the words, living their meaning.
Poised, beautiful and stylishly attired (“my closet is crammed with lovely clothes, and I want to wear them all,” she moans), Connie commands her audience’s attention from the first note. Unlike some singers, she maintains a delightful (and often quite sexy) eye contact with her listeners. No staring off into the lights or the exit signs for her -Connie is very involved, not just with the crowd, but with each individual in it. To say that her male listeners find this quality extremely attractive…would be an understatement.
And the singing? It’s clear, powerful, intimate and in tune, all at the same time. Her breath control is flawless and she uses it to master the dynamics of the song, even over the roar of a big band.
“The songs are all part of my personal journey,” she says. “I think we are all conduits and receivers of creative energy. For the last three years, jazz is the medium I’ve chosen. It makes me fearless.”
It’s a fascinating philosophy, very close to the thoughts of acclaimed jazz composer and pianist Keith Jarrett. And, like Keith’s, her music is not elitist. It is warm and conversational, like its maker.
“I’m happy to see the commercial success of singers like Diana Krall and Michael Buble,” she notes. “It’s music that makes you feel lighter than when you came in.”
Jazz is not the only music du jour for Connie. She’s happy to belt out the odd Patsy Cline or rockabilly swinger. But, obviously, her passion is to sing originals like High Expectations, a song she has recorded and which has already enjoyed airplay on Melbourne radio.
So, what’s next for Connie? There’s a busy schedule of concert and club dates, a tour of the New South Wales south coast, and more recording. In the ‘best of all worlds’ category is the film she wants to make, a grand epic of Lord of the Rings proportions called Perfect Tear. Her original songs are central to the fantasy plot, and it will be full of magic and mystery, a spur to the imagination.
The script is all done, the songs are written – now all Connie needs is a producer and tons of cash. And will she act in it?
“Perhaps, she laughs, “ But, I’m happy just being its creator.”


Reviews


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Ariel Hyatt

High Expectations will meet and exceed anyone’s expectations for a jazz album.
Connie Lansberg has a voice that will melt your heart with her smooth jazz stylings. This Aussie songbird is bound to win over fans of Tierney Sutton, Sade and Diana Krall. Her voice is full of emotion and easily sets the mood for romance.

On her CD High Expectations she takes you on a journey through some of jazz’s best standards such as “Blue Moon” and “Down With Love” Her voice seems to glide over the familiar words of the songs. After a few minutes you’ll find yourself swaying in time to the music.

One particular song, “Teach Me Tonight” a song made famous by Frank Sinatra, stands out amongst all the others. Connie delivers the song about the discovery of love with sweetness and a hint of sensuality, that would prompt any lover to teach her what she wanted to learn.

Connie also breathes new life into the bluesy “Georgia” a song most listeners will associate with Ray Charles, but when Connie sings it, she makes it her own. Her voice will soon have you forgetting any other version of this song you might have heard.

Connie will woo you with her seductive, come hither voice on songs like “Even So” and “Sugar.” These are two songs that you can fall in love to, while falling in love with them. Connie’s music really sets the mood for love, no matter what part of the relationship she’s singing about.

Its not just Connie’s voice that draws you in, its also the expert playing of the members of her band that provide the backdrop for her sophisticated vocals. When the two are combined you have the perfect cocktail to delight your senses. On this album Connie is joined by Matt Boden on piano, Steve Hadley on bass and Peter Hodges on drums.

High Expectations will meet and exceed anyone’s expectations for a jazz album. With Connie’s seductive voice you really can’t go wrong.

Cross posted from Mossip.

Jeff Jones

All Girl All Jazz
The Connie Lansberg Quartet



This all girl band with help from a few great playing gents is from Australia.

Their book is made up of big band standards like Fly me to the Moon.

Traditionally, men have always dominated the world of Jazz.

Move over guys and let these powerful ladies show you that gender has nothing to do with putting out great sound.

As I listen to this group I am reminded of the swing bands of the 30’s and 40’s.

These chicks are solidly in the that great tradition , while remaining the unique individuals that they are.

If you want something cool yet hot you can’t beat what they got.

Swing it with Connie as she shows her ease with some of the most beloved vocals compositions ever written.

This singer’s confidence comes right at you with style and grace.

Who says you need a man to front the band?

Jeff Jones

The House ofjeffness.org