Take Five With Laura Wolfe
The lovely entertainer Laura Wolfe embodies the description "triple threat," a handle defining her equal abilities as an actor, singer and dancer. It's an accurate description, though it doesn't sufficiently explain what happens when all aspects of a talented performer's training and discipline come to bear, as they do in Laura's work. Her distinctive style derives from a life's worth of dedication. Listening to her CD, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, you're treated to a layered and intelligent take on a dozen gems of the American Songbook delivered by an authentic stylist. In performance, Laura is so natural she pulls the wool over your eyes.
Engaging and warm, her voice is confident and assured, each gesture and emotion, organic. As Laura was considering ideas for her follow-up album, the concept of ...also dances (A Tribute to the Great Dancers of Film) came about quite quickly. Given her background and passion for dance, coupled with her love of musicals, the theme created itself: a tribute to great dancers from film, utilizing music from some of their better known dances on the screen. The album's title originated from the studio review of Fred Astaire's initial screen test in 1933: "Can't act. Slightly bald. Also dances." For more details on Laura, please visit her website www.laurawolfe.net.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I was a child. I was singing and dancing by the age of three and never stopped. Music has always been an integral part of who I am.
Your sound and approach to music:
I was highly influenced by musical theatre growing up. My mother was a professional dancer and she (along with my father, who is also a music lover) exposed me to those original show recordings as well as live performances when I was very young. As a trained dancer (with my greatest passion being tap) I was also introduced to excellent big band recordings to dance to in class. I then started listening to the vocalists from those swing bands.
From there, I began to listen to other vocalists who had sung strictly jazz, as well as more modern jazz singers. I took all of this in and started combining the two styles of jazz and musical theatre when singing the Great American Songbook. So many of these songs did initially come from Broadway and since have become jazz standards that it seemed like a natural marriage of style.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
I loved recording "Let's Misbehave" (from: ...also dances (A Tribute to the Great Dancers of Film). We took the traditional Cole Porter song and added a cool funk/blues sound to it. Really gave it a new twist. And it was just a lot of fun to sing.
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
I'm taking songs from the Great American Songbooksome of which have been around for more than 75 yearsand creating a new sound and interpretation of them.
I want people from my generation to become fans of these composers and realize that the lyrics and melodies of these fantastic songs are timeless.
Did you know...
I started doing club work because I found that my height seemed to be somewhat of an obstacle when auditioning for traditional musical theatre.
I'm 5'9" (in character shoes 5'11 1/2") I started doing more club work because of this and then decided to start recording. My debut album, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (2007) was very well received, which prompted me to produce my newest release ...also dances" (A Tribute to the Great Dancers of Film) in 2008. The initial catalyst in my career shift turned out to be a blessing and because of it, I named my production company Too Tall Prods.
What is in the near future?
I have a holiday CD coming out this month [October, 2008] called What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? Details will soon be available on my website at www.laurawolfe.net.