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Thursday, Mar 13 2014 | 21:26
Image: 1587213 Following in the footsteps of Robert Glasper and Jose James in bringing jazz back to the forefront of contemporary music, the Harlem-based vocalist Lauren Desberg manages to simultaneously pay homage to traditional jazz while maintaining a gorgeously organic feel in fresh takes on standards by jazz greats such as Grover Washington and Herbie Hancock. "I wanted to do something where jazz meets pop with a modern day sound," 22-year old Desberg says. "A friend showed me 'Come Running to Me' in my first semester at Berklee. It's from Herbie Hancock's 'Sunlight' album (1978). I was obsessed with the song for 2 months." Desberg's widespread influences also include the likes of Melody Gardot, Frank Ocean, and The Carpenters.

Award-winning jazz & world music vocalist Gretchen Parlato has been a mentor of Desberg's since she was a teenager. Desberg took voice lessons from Parlato throughout her time at Berklee College of Music in Boston and, after encouragement from fellow musicians, she approached Parlato about producing a demo which eventually became her 5-track EP, 'Sideways'. Sideways features jazz heavyweights including Dayna Stephens on tenor sax and Taylor Eigsti on piano - both collaborators of Parlato's - Josh Crumbly on bass (Terence Blanchard), Chris Smith on bass (Jeff 'Tain' Watts), and Corey Fonville on drums (Christian Scott, Nicholas Payton). Parlato herself makes a special appearance in a duet with Desberg on 'You Go To My Head'.

Lauren Desberg embodies the spirit of her generation yet defies expectations all the same. Welcome to millennial jazz.

"It is evident from first note that Desburg is for those who like their jazz straight-up with no chasers but all class act. With one listen, you'll be glad you walked in her direction" (Soul Bounce)
"Exquisite jazz and sublime vocals housed on this EP... Truly good listening" (Bamalovesoul)
"There's certainly something really pleasing about her take on 'I Wanna Be Like You'.... full of serious musicianship from all quarters. It's got bass bounce and brushwork and buoyancy, you'd be an ape not to smile at it." (WRTI Picks)
"There?s a richness to her voice that belies her youth and an intelligence to her interpretations that some singers don?t find until they?re twice her age... her honey sweet voice showering the proceedings with a gossamer sheen, reminiscent of 70s jazz soul divas like Randy Crawford and Phyllis Hyman, with the same modern pop sensibilities of the wonderful Diane Birch and Katie Melua." (
"Desberg should now officially be on your radar." (


1. You Go To My Head ft. Gretchen Parlato
2. Spring Is Here
3. Mister Magic
4. Come Running To Me
5. I Wanna Be Like You Available from 21.02.2014
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