Anna Laura Quinn: Open The Door

New York graduate in studio art, relocated to New Orleans, shows her feeling for jazz in a set including Ellington, Ellis Marsalis and Abbey Lincoln


This is Anna Laura Quinn’s first album, her previous release being the 2018 EP I Feel A Sudden Urge To Sing. After graduating from New York University with a degree in studio art, in 2010 Quinn relocated to New Orleans. There, she continued her studies, this time for a masters in jazz studies at the University of New Orleans.

Importantly, she also performed regularly, singing with various groups including the UNO Jazz All Stars at the 2019 New Orleans Jazz Festival and at clubs and other venues in the Crescent City, including Snug Harbor, Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar and Preservation Hall. She also worked farther afield, including dates with the Americano Social Club in San Francisco.

Quinn’s chosen repertoire is always interesting and varied. For example, on this release she delivers a personal take on songs associated with singers Betty Carter and Abbey Lincoln, respectively Open The Door and Talking To The Sun.

Throughout, the instrumentalists are featured with extended solos, notably on the Ellis Marsalis composition, Cry Again, which is presented as a delightful duet with guitarist Ed Barrett, and an admirable version of Part 5 of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s The Queen’s Suite, The Single Petal Of A Rose, on which Quinn sings a subtly wordless background to the inventive playing of baritone saxophonist Kate Campbell-Strauss. Also featured extensively is Brent Rose on both tenor saxophone and flute.

On the Sammy Fain-Bob Hilliard song Very Good Advice, Quinn chose to rest the instrumentalists, providing her own backing vocal line. With a distinctive vocal sound, Quinn sings lyrics with understanding and brings a jazz feel to all that she does.

Quite clearly, Anna Laura Quinn’s studies, both theoretical and practical, have allowed her to develop a deep understanding of and love for jazz. This release, available as CD, vinyl, online, will appeal to many and is very warmly recommended.

Talking To The Sun; Comes Love; Speak Low; Very Good Advice; Love For Sale; Cry Again; Open The Door; The Single Petal Of A Rose; Wouldn’t It Be Loverly (45.15)
Quinn (v) with, collectively, Brent Rose (ts, f); Kate Campbell-Strauss (ts, bar); Ed Barrett (g); Ben Fox (b); Brad Webb (d). New Orleans, 2021.
Next Level NL 2202