Displaying a natural ease for the smooth jazz palette, vocalist LaVon Hardison sounds comfortable delivering a repertoire that bridges classic pop with sunny blues and swing-tinted soul. Her third release Come Together vibrates a melodic sonorous that massages the listener's aural senses, pleasing a wide range of audiences. Passionate and focused, Hardison takes command of her performance demonstrating a style that is irrefutably all her own.
Her rendition of the title track, penned by the Beatles, puts a funky groove in the melody that gives the track a vibe loaded with spunk, which switches to a classic cafe-style ambience in "Alfie" comprised of sensual vocals shrouded in soft piano silhouettes made popular by the likes of such performers as Tony Bennett, Jane Monheit, and Diana Krall. The music is conducive to social gatherings, offering a calmness that beckons a friendly atmosphere.
"Unchain My Heart" is cradled in a bluesy rhythm contoured by the smoldering flickers of Brad Schrandt's saxophone as David Joyner's keys glitter softly in the backdrop. Keeping along that course, Joyner's keys propagate a languid mood in "Better Than Anything" reminiscent of the classic jazz sounds emanating from the nightclubs of days gone by, fashioning harmonic forms that show a traditional jazz style with a modern polish.
"They Long to Be Close to You" embraces swing-tinted soul, pampering the listener in luxurious ethers which move into the torchlight drifts of "Some Other Time." The prancing brushed strokes of Jeff Busch's drums in "Tomorrow" are garland in the fluttering toots of Schrandt's flute while the slow burning, bluesy tone of Hardison's vocals through "Sunny" glide with a buttery smoothness that switches to a jaunty rhythmic stride in "Maybe" reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald.
Influenced by a broad range of singers before her, perhaps LaVon Hardison learned to hone her own vocal style, which she does with pristine clarity on her recording. Passionate and focused, Hardison shows a command of the material that is impressive and penetrative, holding the audience's attention from start to finish.
LaVon Hardison - vocals, David Joyner - piano and organ, Osama Afif - bass, Jeff Busch - drums and percussion, and Brad Schrandt - flute and saxophone
Tomorrow, Sunny, Maybe, Come Together, Alfie, Unchain My Heart, Better than Anything, They Long to be Close to You, Some Other Time