John Huddy of The Miami Herald, in an article about the great Tony Bennett wrote…
Bennett scampers over to a desk, [and] returns with a pocket-size tape recorder. The hotel orchestra leader, Jerry Marshall, had brought a beautiful young Miami singer back stage. Bennett says with unrestrained enthusiasm, `She’s really unique, you gotta listen to her. I think she’s really something.’ Bennett plays a demo tape for the singer, Laura Taylor, praising her every note. He sounds like a proud father describing the latest success of a talented offspring.”
Bennett is not alone in his reaction to singer/songwriter Laura Taylor….
Michael Paskevich of The Las Vegas Review Journal
Taylor’s stylized singing presents her with plenty of challenges and she proved up to the task during her 45-minute early set. Taylor’s closing take on Mountain Greenery found her turning the song inside-out and making it her own, no mean feat when it comes to show standards, and further served notice that Taylor is a name to watch for.”
Joe Delaney of The Las Vegas Sun
Songstress Laura Taylor Mesmerizes Audiences With Silky Vocal Stylings. Many of Taylor’s listeners agree that the singer’s most remarkable quality is her voice. It’s not uncommon to see listeners captivated by Taylor’s vocal range as if they’re floating in a dream.”
Laura is the product of a rich musical background. Her mother was a Juilliard graduate, concert pianist and teacher, and her father was a successful business man and a gifted singer. Together they instilled in Laura a love for music which has been the guiding force in her life.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Laura was raised in Watertown, New York, and Monroe, Ohio. At seventeen, Laura was awarded a scholarship to study opera at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with the great voice teacher, Professor Robert Powell. After two years of study with Professor Powell, his untimely death prompted a move into commercial music and jazz for Laura. Still in her teens, she began her professional career performing in small clubs, eventually going into commercial and studio work. Laura was the solo voice on the national campaign for United Airlines’ Fly the Friendly Skies of United- and also the now famous Wouldn’t You Really Rather Have a Buick? campaign.
Laura signed her first record deal in Miami, Florida with Criteria Studio’s own label– Good Sounds Records – whose parent company and distributor was T. K. Records. Criteria was the studio where the Bee Gees recorded the famous Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and many of their other hit songs. Laura not only met the Bee Gees, but their back-up band recorded Laura’s first album with her “Dancin’ In My Feet”. This album opened the door for Laura’s dual talents as singer and songwriter. The title song, Dancin’ in My Feet, became the theme song for the nationally syndicated TV show Disco Magic and rose to #4 on Billboard’s national disco chart. Three of her original songs – Lady Scorpio – All Through Me – and Some Love – also made Billboard and Record World charts. (Google Laura Taylor Disco for songs and articles).
While at Criteria, Laura worked with many great producers, artists and bands including George Martin (The Beatles producer), and the band Firefall. Firefall’s producer, the esteemed Tom Dowd, presented Laura with her first platinum album for her background vocal work on their Elan album
During this same period, Laura electrified Miami Dolphins fans with her a cappella version of The Star Spangled Banner on three separate occasions.
Laura’s success as a songwriter continued when Diana Ross included Laura’s original composition Think I’m in Love on her Why Do Fools Fall in Love album. The song was also selected as the flip-side of Ms. Ross’ single release. This resulted in Laura being presented with her second platinum album. Enthusiasm for Laura as both a singer and songwriter led to appearances on Midnight Special, The Dinah Shore Show and The Merv Griffin Show (three times)where she showcased several of her original songs.
Joe Delaney of The Las Vegas Sun wrote…
A beauty with voice to match, plus a fine jazz feel, Laura Taylor treated all concerned to a varied program that included requests and a world-class treatment of The Nearness of You.”
New York City
Forming the Laura Taylor Trio, Laura moved to New York and enjoyed engagements at The St. Regis Hotel, the Oak Room in the Plaza Hotel, and an exclusive six year contract at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel. During this time she also appeared in concert at Carnegie Recital Hall which featured her trio, The Manhattan School of Music String Quartet, and special guest artist Dave Samuels from the group Spiro Gyra.
Working in New York also gave Laura the opportunity to perform as part of the legendary Joe Henderson Quartet performing two Henderson compositions she wrote lyrics for, Isotope and Black Narcissus, and hearing Mr. Henderson perform two of her original compositions, Lovelight and Spellbound. Continuing her association with great jazz musicians, Laura was asked to record Isotope with jazz piano great Steve Kuhn on his CD, Porgy. Also featured on this CD are her vocal and lyrics to Steve’s beautiful Lullaby composition.
Opening for the great comedian, Don Rickles, in Atlantic City and Las Vegas led to a long engagement in the Starlight Theater of the Desert Inn Hotel and a move to Las Vegas. Continuing her jazz career, she performed several times on the legendary Monday Night Jazz series broadcast on National Public Radio and hosted by Alan Grant. Laura’s other concert appearances included opening The Las Vegas Government Center, several Las Vegas Jazz Society concerts and two appearances at the Riviera Hotel’s Monday Night Jazz with Don Menza.
Critical acclaim and national radio airplay have been given to Laura’s five jazz CDs: Have Mercer on Me, features pianist and Ben Vereen conductor David Loeb, bassists Bob Sachs and Derek Jones, pianist Bob Rozario, drummer Michael Mecham, guitar great Joe Lano and percussionist Lenny Lopez. My Funny Valentine…a tribute to Chet Baker, features jazz legends Eddie Gomez, Steve Kuhn and Louis Nash. Mountain Greenery features jazz greats Jack Sheldon, Pete and Conte Condoli Red Holloway and guitarist Joe Lano; Cry Me a River, a tribute to the late Julie London, features Joe Lano and Tom Warrington, and Songs of the Winter Season, also featuring Joe Lano and Tom Warrington.
While continuing to live in Las Vegas, Laura does many special events and concerts. A highlight of 2012 was Laura’s October 25th performance at The Smith Center For the Performing Arts Cabaret Jazz Theater. Titled “Something’s Coming”, this debut performance at the Smith Center had a full house that gave Laura two standing ovations. Laura will be returning to the Smith Center on April 24, 2014, doing a program titled “It Might As Well Be Spring”(see web site announcements for details). 2011 and 2012 saw Laura doing three appearances at Michael Feinstein’s beautiful club in New York… “Feinstein’s”. Michael gave Laura a warm welcome by enthusiastically attending one of those performances.
Most recently Laura did her second annual appearance as part of the legendary Joe William’s Scholarship Concert. In addition to Laura, the incredible UNLV Jazz Band 1 led by David Loeb and Nathan Tanoye backed performers such as Ben Vereen, Marlena Shaw, and The Cunninghams, and several others. All performers donated their performances to help raise money for these very talented students and this great program! Laura has also appeared with these great jazz students as the featured soloist in The Duke Ellington Sacred Concert, a challenging, beautiful work which also featured the wonderful Las Vegas Master Singers.
In May, 2008 Laura sang for Mayor Oscar Goodman’s Mother’s Day Concert with the Walter Boenig Big Band, and the following Sunday presented The Laura Taylor Quintet (Fred Haller, Bob Sachs, Alfredo Alverenga and Mike Mecham) for the Las Vegas Jazz Society at Winchester Cultural Center, a performance of mostly Laura’s arrangements of standards. The second set was a tribute to Johnny Mercer’s fine songs, a session that was melding into her next CD. She conducted an audience quiz on Mercer titles, and awarded a CD to a fan who answered a mystery question concerning her namesake movie, “Laura.” Audience and band participation in “The Girl From Ipanema” and “Glow Worm” were a big hit, demonstrating Laura’s electric connection with her audience.
The performance was recorded on DVD by Clark County Television (Channel 4) and has currently been shown over two hundred times on Las Vegas Television.
Laura appeared with the Walter Boenig Big Band in a fundraiser for the Las Vegas Philharmonic in November, 2008, and again for the Mayor’s Mother’s Day Concert on May 10th, 2009. Laura was also featured, along with Walter’s band in a stunning performance at Artemus Ham Concert Hall as part of the Nevada Pops ENCORE Concert, February 28th, 2009. Laura followed this performance a week later in a concert at the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles. The performance helped raise scholarship money for the Keck School of Medicine, USC, Salerni Collegium.
Find out more about Laura’s performances and appearances.
CDs available at cdbaby.com. Visit the Discography page for direct links to purchase and download CDs.