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Music Review: Elaine Lucia – Let’s Live Again

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Elaine Lucia’s Let’s Live Again is a vivacious and tantalizing album that truly encapsulates the New York-raised singer’s passion for living.

One of the first things that spring to mind when listening to Lucia’s latest is just how flexible a vocalist she is. Her voice is delicate yet strong, high and yet earthy, clear and yet textured. She carries herself well, guiding the listener with a friendly sensibility through songs that swing and songs that dance lightly amongst the clouds.

Lucia caught “the bug” at the age of four when she saw Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand singing “Happy Days Are Here Again” on television. At that moment, she knew she wanted to sing and perform. By grade seven, Elaine was already performing solos with her school choir. She also joined her choir teacher’s jazz trio on weekends, adding more versatility to her repertoire.

Elaine Lucia is one of those intrepid singers with the desire to express herself in any and all situations. Having learned a lot about performance with the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco, she put together her own jazz combo and even wrote a few shows, such as a Peggy Lee tribute show in 2002.

With Let’s Live Again, Lucia lives out the culmination of those years of learning and studying jazz music. A true artist, she has constructed an album that serves as a tribute to the LPs that the George Shearing Quintet recorded with legendary vocalists like Nat King Cole, Nancy Wilson, and Peggy Lee.

Using the same instrumentation from the Shearing Quintet, Let’s Live Again is constructed on a traditional foundation and built upwards with Elaine’s crystalline vocal qualities.

With Jonathan Alford on piano, Alan Hall on drums, Gerry Grosz on vibes, Randy Vincent on guitar, and Pierre Archain on bass, Lucia’s backing group is firm and graceful.

The record moves through a compelling cast of selections, including the Nat King Cole version of “Azure Te” and the Chris Connor take of “All Dressed Up With a Broken Heart.” Lucia’s work on the playful “I’d Love to Make Love to You” is steamy in a classical sense, adding a smouldering sensuality without overcooking it.

The Desi Arnaz-inspired “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps” is a bouncy and fun song. And the title track, taken partially from Nancy Wilson’s recording, is an amusing tune that shows off Lucia’s vocal abilities.

Let’s Live Again is a wonderful record with a classy, jazzy feel. Lucia has a striking voice and she expressively states her case as a memorable vocalist. With her latest, she’ll doubtlessly earn new fans of her natural, easy style.

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