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ARTICLES/INTERVIEWS

Pianist Lara Driscoll: A Jazz Person You Should Know!
Chicago Jazz Magazine
October 31, 2016

Lara Driscoll, a French-American pianist and composer from Chicago is currently on tour in Canada with her trio but she still calls Chicago her home. Let's get to know how she got interested in music, where she studied, her musical concepts and what she has coming up!..." (continue reading interview)


Talented Female Players Put Their Own Spin on the Music
The Waterloo Chronicle Nov 2, 2016
The Jazz Room

"The Grand River Jazz Society presents two concerts this weekend featuring a fine Bill Evans influenced piano trio..." (see article)


Coco's Jazz Gig of the Week
Published on Sortie Jazz Nights 
Montreal, QC CAN, Aug 14, 2016
Coco - coconette@gmail.com
Coco Jazz host at 100,1 CKVL FM


"Pianist Lara Driscoll and her trio, Thursday, Aug. 18th at Résonance! Young and talented pianist Lara Driscoll is back in town!

The jazz pianist and composer is back to present her compositions and turn us on with her captivating style and uncluttered finesse. After her Masters in Jazz Studies at McGill University with the late Jan Jarczyk, pianist Lara Driscoll is back home in Chicago.

Lara is a versatile artist with a passion for expressing herself thru music. While in Montréal, she played at the Montreal Jazz Fest, recorded an album of compositions in trio, taught jazz piano, theory and history at McGill University. Since then Lara has joined the Music Faculty of the Harold Washington College (Chicago City College) and the Chicago Loyola University where she teaches jazz piano, world music and human sciences.

She has many other projects in the works and confided with me ; « This fall I'll be launching a complete album of my compositions with my trio 
Rémi-Jean LeBlanc and Dave Laing ». Furthermore the trio was invited to present the compositions of the pianist at the Jazz Éducation Network in Dallas, Texas.

The melodic lines of her compositions are fluid and mesmerizing. Lara Driscoll's jazz is fresh and sophisticated, with a dash of nostalgia in her arrangements that reminds us of the great pianists of the sixties.

The young pianist will be playing some of her original compositions as well a few jazz standards rich in improvisation, highlighting a great Montreal
rhythm section.

Lara Driscoll, piano/compositions
Rémi-Jean LeBlanc, bass
Dave Laing, drums

A night of great jazz by a together and happenin' trio!"

Lara Driscoll Trio
Thursday Aug. 18th, 9pm
Résonance
5175A Ave. du Parc    


Look ahead: Top Picks from Melissa Merli for the Week Ahead
Published in The News Gazette Urbana, IL Sun, 07/10/2016 | Melissa Merli

The keys to a great performance

"I was impressed by how much pianist Lara Driscoll has improved since graduating in 2010 from the UI Jazz Studies Program. As a freshman, she received the John Garvey Scholarship, given to promising, dedicated jazz students. That she is! Since then, she's obtained a master's at McGill, been teaching at Chicago universities and playing in Chicago. She plays at 8 p.m. Thursday at The Iron Post with Larry Gray and Joel Spencer."


That's Entertainment: Spotlighting events around the area
Published in The News Gazette Sun, 07/10/2016 | Melissa Merli

UI grad to play at Iron Post

"Pianist Lara Driscoll, a graduate of the UI Jazz Studies program, will return here to perform at 8 p.m. Thursday at The Iron Post with UI music faculty members Larry Gray on bass and Joel Spencer on drums.

Driscoll, also a composer, moved to Chicago after completing her master's degree in jazz performance at McGill University in Montreal, where she performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival, recorded an album of her original trio compositions and taught at McGill as a lecturer of jazz piano, theory and history.

She's now on the music faculty at Harold Washington College (Chicago City College) and Loyola University Chicago, where she teaches courses in piano, jazz, world music and humanities."


Album review:
Let Me Love You: Nancy Lane
BySusan Frances AXS Contributor Nov 23, 2015
 
Vocalist Nancy Lane shows an instinct for jazz that's kindred to such singers as Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen Rae. Her new release Let Me Love You is a compilation of jazz standards that Lane covers to an iridescent gleam. An avid torch carrier of cabaret-kindled blues, Lane's inflections and nuances caress the melodies and bring out a vivid luster in the tracks.

Mike De Masi's hypnotic bass pulls coursing through the title track frame Lane's vocals elegantly while Lara Driscoll's keys add lesions of warm textures to "I Can't Believe that You're in Love with Me." The taut drumming by Dave Laing in "We're Together" has a bongo feel with samba overtones, which changes to a bopping canter in "Every Time I'm with You." The smooth curves of Lane's inflections imprinted along "Tout Ce Que Veut Lola" are accented by De Masi's grazing bass as the torchlight aura of "Cry Me a River" is embellished by the succor sounding chords of Kenny Bibace's guitar.

The shuffling strides of Driscoll's keys in " Everything I've Got Belongs to You" has a Gershwin-esque touch, and the bossa nova-tilt of the rhythm section anchoring "All of You" swathes Cole Porter's tune in a Latin-enriched sheath. The leisurely stroll of Lane's vocals along "You Took Advantage of Me" infuses a cheerful glint in lyrics that express inconsolable sorrow to the audience. Her interpretation shines hope on a dismal condition. The spinning drumbeats of "What Is This Thing Called Love" are twined in tight bass pulls which turn soft and plush in the balladry verses of "Just Say I Love Him" as Driscoll's keys articulate arousing interludes.

Let Me Love You is Lane's debut solo release, launching her as a jazz vocalist. Her interpretation of classic jazz numbers displays a versatility that places her in the ranks of notable cabaret singers who graced the stages of Cafe Society and the Cotton Club. She keeps the songs true to their original form while wrapping her vocals around each one and embracing the spirit in which they were made.


Album Review:
ALL.ABOUT.JAZZ
Nancy Lane: Let Me Love You (2015)

By GEANNINE REID,
Published: 
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/let-me-love-you-nancy-lane-self-produced-review-by-geannine-reid.php

Nancy Lane's vocal quality looms large in the crowded world of jazz vocalists, and with her recording, Let Me Love You, her melodic delivery will attest that she belongs to a small subset within the field.

Lane is accompanied by a talented core of musicians that perfectly support her formidable skills to deliver a melody. Lara Driscoll is on piano, Kenny Bibace is on the guitar, Mike De Masi plays the bass and Dave Laing is on drums to complete the musical core of the project. With the addition of François D' Amours on tenor saxophone on tracks: "I Can't Believe," "Cry Me a River," and "Everything I've Got." Aron Doyle plays the trumpet or flugelhorn on tracks "We're Together," "Tout ce que veut Lola," "What is This Thing?" to complete the musical tableau.

On "Let Me Love You" Lane lays it all on the line, as she interprets the lyrics to this song of love with her soulful rich voice. Instantly the listener will realize her voice has a wide range and is full in body and character, but most importantly, swings. Driscoll and Bibace add a magical touch to an already elegant tune with their musical solos.

With "We're Together," the track radiates with and exuberant sexuality in a clever way that finds Lane navigating the melody and flawlessly conveying the rhythmic nuances in both the Latin and swing sections of the form. Doyle's solo is a study in a perfect marriage of excitement and clear musical phrases.

On "Everything I've Got Belongs to You" and "What is this Thing Called Love?" Lane also shows a side that more vocalists should explore and that is perfectly expressing a melody at medium-up tempos. Lane also effortlessly tells the story of each song with creative augmentations to the melodic line and a wide reaching vocal range. Bibace adds excellent guitar work to both before mentioned tracks and D' Amours tenor saxophone unfolds a fine solo on "Everything I've Got Belongs to You."

The rhythmic time keepers Masi and Laing heard throughout are unparalleled musicians at creating support and a solid foundation for both the soloist's and Lane to create in the highest musical manner. Lane's vocal quality, rhythmic clarity and range, adds much to this album. As mentioned, there is a paucity of genuine jazz singers and Lane is to be included in this limited group amongst the masses that call themselves jazz vocalists.

Let Me Love You should be in the true jazzophile's collection, it gets no better with this true vocal gem.


Brookfield Jazz Society: Chris Davis Jazztet 


Krannert UncorkedLara Driscoll Trio


Smile Politely: Bossa Nuevo 


Teal Creek Music: Larry Gray Review of Bossa Nuevo


News Gazette Studio Visit Interview with Melissa Merli (see below) and performance of Lara's original composition "Woven Dreams"