Singer Laurie Antonioli has a gem here, one that reveals the many facets of her musical talent. She's got perfect pitch, the ability to immerse herself into the band she works with (a musician whose instrument is her voice), and she's a superb lyricist. This long-time educator chairs the vocal program at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley. Antonioli and her band-mates put fresh spins on a wide variety of source material including Sheryl Crow's "Riverwide," Neil Young's more intense ""Don't Let it Bring You Down," and several Joni Mitchell pieces: "Love" and a medley of two other Mitchell tunes, "Harry's House" and "The Arrangement."
Favorite tracks: the Crow and Young tunes, and several collaborations for which Antonioli wrote beautiful lyrics. They include "Layla" (a piece by guitarist Nguyen Le originally titled "Bee"), "Highway" and "Moonbirds," both of which she co-wrote with German saxophonist Johannes Enders, and Paul Nagle's "And So It Is" (originally titled "As Is"). Antonioni's band includes reed player Sheldon Brown, guitarist Dave MacNab, pianist Matt Clark, bassist Dan Feiszli and drummer Jason Lewis. All contribute much to the project, with MacNab soaring on his axe.