Captivating audiences with her sensual performances and her alluring charismatic charm, gifted vocalist MARIEL LARSEN explodes on the jazz scene with a debut album produced by multiple Grammy award winning producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner - known for his superb recordings, and the pristine sounds of Steely Dan, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Sting, Van Morrison, Bruce Hornsby, BB King, Faith Hill, and many other talented artists.
A big fan of Elliot\'s work, and a musician who appreciates precision and exquisite care, Mariel contacted the legendary veteran to produce her first album. \"Elliot wanted to do a jazz record which was perfect, recalls Mariel. I had been singing the standards my whole life! Better yet, we both loved the sounds of sultry jazz artists like Julie London - and the intimate after hours cool jazz records, so we began our process of selecting timeless jazz classics from the American Songbook for my auspicious \"after hours\" debut.\"
Mariel Larsen, offers a first glimpse of a new voice in Jazz. Her desire for a simple and sincere reading of the lyric, has led to a new style of Jazz interpretation that is not encumbered with a studious adherence to ornamentation or artifice. Her readings of these timeless jazz classics are rife with feeling and devoid of unnecessary noodling that has polluted the current jazz vocal scene. Her rich voice is like a deep ocean that swallows the listener and compels them to listen further; her intense moments are strong and infrequent, leaving the audience to beg for more. Words are clear and uncluttered, with interpretations that are authentic to the composers’ intent. Her intonation is absolutely spot–on.
Just listen to But Beautiful, a simple, yet elegant opener setting the mood, followed by Comes Love and Taking A Chance On Love, articulating the inevitable emotions of unexpected love. The Nearness Of You and Prelude To A Kiss, both an honest evocation of new love; Haunted Heart and More Than You Know sit squarely in the moment of authentic love. A tinge of nostalgia and the longing of a broken heart informs a beautifully rendered Early Autumn followed by Mariel’s urgent version of When Sunny Gets Blue. And the nuanced intensity and utter sadness of You’ve Changed is enough to bring you to tears. The intersection of hope and disappointment, those corners of love that expose truth, reveal themselves at the end in Mariels’s straight-ahead reading of the classic Sophisticated Lady.
Even after the last note has been sung, the sentiment lingers and her voice remains in your memory.
About the Artist
A lifelong affair with music, Mariel began her musical journey studying piano at the tender age of five. Growing up in Bay Ridge Brooklyn, her earliest and perhaps most lasting musical influences were introduced to her at her grandparent’s brownstone on Prospect Avenue. It was here that Mariel would get her first dose of the standards, not in the jazz clubs of the city, not in the television broadcasts of her childhood, not in the radio jazz icons of the time, but listening to the voices of parents, grandparents, cousins and friends. Mariel’s initial evolution as an artist was in the living rooms of America.
Mariel was blown away by the re-run televised performances of the musical variety shows – The Lawrence Welk Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, and Laugh In. Welk usually had performers sing and play standards from the 1930s and 1940s.
Interestingly enough, that repertoire is the music Mariel sings today.
Jon Cowherd, Piano
Bob Mann, Guitar
David Finck, Acoustic Bass
Ben Wittman, Drums