It is torch...the taste of bittersweet. That sassy, smoky blues which compliments Lesa's original sound and unique phrasing. Combine her sultry looks and undeniable sensuality, and she embodies the purity of a young woman who people have described as "haunting" and "mesmerizing." Whether she's accompanied by piano, a standard quartet, or her band (Lesa Carlson's OFF BLUE, with upright bass, flute or sax, drums, and a turtablist), her throughline is jazz, with a heavy blues influence, and just a dash of slow funk to make the body move. Lesa brings a new perspective to a range of music, from standards like "Summertime," "Night and Day," and "God Bless the Child," to old Robert Johnson tunes, such as "Come on in My Kitchen," through originals like "Mystery," "Lazy Days," and "Love's Voodoo Band."
"Lesa is someone you can't help but be drawn to..." -Vera Anderson, Cinepremiere Magazine
As an ingenue, Lesa is just starting on her journey, but there is an obvious wealth of knowledge that she draws from that comes out in her vocal delivery.
Some of Lesa's vocal accomplishments include:
* Studied and performed Opera for three years
* Performed Jazz in Turkey for one year
* Performed with members of the Turkey National Symphony
* Won vocal awards in New York City and Los Angeles
* Performed original song for "Arranged Marriage," a feature film
* Headlined Mid-West Jazz Tour
* Crowned America's Miss Idaho
* Performed with Blues legend Linda Hopkins
Lesa has been the house band at Three of Clubs, in Hollywood, CA, and performed at Woody Harrelson's new restaurant, O2, in Los Angeles, CA. She also performed for the premiere party of Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy's feature film, Bowfinger, an Imagine Entertainment/Universal Pictures production. She has also performed at The House of Blues, and at a special concert at the Hotel Niko for the LA art scene. Currently Lesa has a monthly residency with her jazz ensemble, OFF BLUE, at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood, CA.
Lesa Carlson Off Blue, Evolution into the Conscious Revolution (Strange Fruit)
If you're gonna do a fully improvised jazz album, you'd better have one hell of a rhythm section or it's all gonna fall apart faster than a house of cards in a wind tunnel. Fortunately for Lesa Carlson, she does. Bassist Miles Mosley and drummer Robert Perkins jam almost telepathically throughout Evolution into the Conscious Revolution, anchoring down a record that easily could have lapsed into self-indulgent, abstract noodling, but instead bristles with hypnotic grooves and jazzy incantations that recall the post-psychedelic experiments of Sun Ra and Miles Davis. Carlson belts over this like the love child of Jim Morrison and Grace Slick, a chanteuse-turned-shaman, twisting familiar standards like "Brother Can You Spare a Dime" into weird, beat-poet meditations and crooning hypnotic originals like "Lessons of the Leaves" like she's summoning up some old pagan earth god for a little jam session. Add some wacky turntablist effects featuring Martin Luther King samples, a trumpet, and a flute, and you've got an album that sounds like nothing else out there. As you'd expect of an album recorded "unrehearsed in one take with no charts or nets", not all of it works -- slow jams like "Evolution" and "Serenade the Sea" lurch along in search of a groove, and Carlson's vocals sometimes lurch a little too far into Morrison's bad poetry intonations for comfort -- but a surprising amount of this material is really in the pocket. Especially good are "Nature Boy" and "Your Face", on which Mosley and Perkins lock into taut rhythms that give Carlson and trumpeter Bryan Lipps something sweet on which to hang their expressive interplay.