Mary LaRose-Musical Biography
Mary LaRose was born and raised in a musical family in Brooklyn, New York. She was exposed to jazz through her brother, a pianist whose first band included the neighborhood talents of guitarist Jackie Wilkins. Her first career though, was as a visual artist and her paintings were shown at the prestigious Brooklyn Museum. Her love of jazz singing became the focus of her life and a pursuit of a career in music began in earnest in her twenties. Soon she was appearing in clubs throughout the New York area. Her musical interests centered on jazz vocalese in the style of Eddie Jefferson and Jon Hendricks.
In 1995, Mary released her self-produced CD "Cutting the Chord" (Ledhead Productions) to great critical acclaim. In partnership with her husband, saxophonist Jeff Lederer, her music developed a fresh jazz vocal interpretation of some of the most important compositions of the post-bebop era including pieces by Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk (as well as Led Zeppelin). On the recording she is featured in a pianoless format along with Mark Feldman(violin), Steve Swell(trombone), Jeff Lederer(saxophone), Mike Formanek(bass) and Jamey Haddad(drums). "Cutting the Chord" received critical acclaim in JazzIz, Jazz Times and Downbeat and won the special honor of being included in the JazzIz Editor's Choices for best overlooked recordings of that year.
In 1999, Gunther Schuller's GM Recordings label released Mary's second CD,"Walking Woman" (GM 3041CD), featuring Jamie Saft(Hammond B3), Steve Swell(trombone), Jeff Lederer(saxophone), Cameron Brown(bass) and Matt Wilson(drums). Her vocal work continued to develop a fresh re-interpretation of the jazz vocalese stylings of Eddie Jefferson and Jon Hendricks in the context of a post-bebop jazz language. This recording includes works of Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus as well as tunes by Dave Holland, Anthony Braxton and Baroque English composer Henry Purcell.
Mary's third recording, "Obbligato" was released in 2002 on the CIMP label and is an audiophile recording featuring Mary in a drummerless chamber quartet with Dominic Duval (bass), Steve Swell (trombone) and Jeff Lederer (clarinet and saxophone). Mary pays tribute to her late father on her latest recording, "The Blue Guitar", which is scheduled for release on Little (I) Music in the spring of 2005. This recording offers Mary's very personal interpretations of some great American songs by Johnny Cash, Woody Guthrie, a traditional Shaker "Vision" song and more. She is joined on this recording by Marc Ribot on guitar, playing a number of instruments including the little blue Stella guitar played by Mary's father.