West coast vocalist and teacher Laurie Antonioli has had a storied jazz career (which she has mentioned committing to the page one day). Presently, she is enjoying a calm period of determined evolution and realization that has resulted in her most recent recordings: American Dreams (Intrinsic Music, 2010), Songs Of Shadow, Songs Of Light: The Music Of Joni Mitchell (Origin Records, 2014) and Varuna (Origin Records, 2015). Antonioli extends her Origin Records contract with The Constant Passage of Time, evidence that the singer is in a good place and doing exceptional things.
Antonioli has a theme here: to highlight her vocalese lyric writing, extending the language of Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure, Jon Hendricks and Bob Dorough. Of note are "Longing For You," composed with Russell Ferrante as well as "Moonbirds" and "Highway," resulting from collaborations with Johannes Enders. Antonioli covers three Joni Mitchell compositions, "Harry's House," "The Arrangement" and "Love," displaying the enduring influence of and love for that songwriter. The disc also sports a tour de force in a hugely orchestral reading of Neil Young's "Don't Let It Bring You Down." Backed by the majority of her superb American Dreams band, Antonioli thunders through Young's Eliot-esque landscape, spurred on by the equally thundering left hand of pianist Matt Clark and crashing cymbals of drummer Jason Lewis. This is a definitive statement made by an artist.