Retro Jazz Vocalist Laura Ainsworth Signs With Music Island For South Korea, Readies Next Album
Grand Prairie, TX — With her fourth album of new material, You Asked For It, Dallas-based vocalist Laura Ainsworth is expanding the audience for her unique style of award-winning retro jazz all the way to Asia.
Ainsworth said, “I’m thrilled to announce that my label Eclectus Records and Swing City Productions have signed with South Korean music distribution giant Music Island to introduce my music to the South Korean market.” A Music Island spokesperson described Ainsworth as “a great artist” and said they believe she will help grow the Korean market for traditional American-style vocal jazz.
You Asked For It features songs requested by Ainsworth’s fans and is produced by Ainsworth and her longtime pianist/producer/arranger Brian Piper and mastered by Jessica Thompson, who was Grammy®-nominated for her work on Errol Garner’s The Complete Concert By The Sea. The digital release in South Korea on May 27 will be followed by a July 15 release in Japan and the US on MP3 and streaming, as well as a deluxe Japanese mini-LP CD that will feature one extra track not available on the US release. The Japanese CD edition of You Asked For It will be available as an import through Bandwear.com and www.lauraainsworth.com.
You Asked For It is a bit of a departure for her, with less of a studio feel and more of an intimate, casual atmosphere. Ainsworth says, “After being stuck at home so long due to the pandemic, I wanted to celebrate by getting my amazing band together live in the studio.” She was seeking a spontaneous “private party” vibe inspired by her idol Julie London’s classic Julie At Home LP that was famously recorded in the singer’s living room. Ainsworth’s song list came from requests by fans at live gigs and via social media, so it’s heavy on standards such as “Cry Me A River,” “All The Things You Are” and “Someone to Watch Over Me,” only with her own unique twists.
But Ainsworth promises a few curveballs. She said, “Sometimes, people take you by surprise with a request out of left field that turns out surprisingly well!” Most notable is her version of the James Bond theme “Goldfinger,” which reworks the bombastic original into a haunting piano jazz ballad punctuated with sultry saxophone solos. Instead of describing a supervillain, Ainsworth seems to be warning other women away from a wealthy, toxic ex-boyfriend.
The Japan and US release of You Asked For It will also be accompanied by Jessica Thompson remasters of her first three studio albums Keep It To Yourself (2011), Necessary Evil (2013), and New Vintage (2017) that bring a vinyl-like warmth to the Laura Ainsworth catalog. The remastered studio albums will be available on MP3 and streaming formats in both countries.
Ainsworth first came to the attention of the Asian market in 2019 when her best-of vinyl LP Top Shelf was picked up by Japanese record store giant Disk Union and received rave reviews in Japan’s jazz press. This convinced Japanese jazz distributor Ratspack Records to pick up her full catalog, beginning with the release of her first three CDs in Japan in early 2020. In September 2021, Ratspack released a deluxe reissue of the Top Shelf vinyl compilation on mini-LP CD format. The Thompson-remastered Japan-only release features six extra tracks, including the otherwise unavailable outtake “You’d Be Surprised,” as well as detailed liner notes and never before seen photos. In addition, Ratspack is distributing the Swing City Productions compilation, This is Vintage Now Vol.2: Happiness Is A Way Of Life, which kicks off with Ainsworth’s exotica-inspired take on “An Occasional Man.”
Ainsworth grew up with the Great American Songbook, as the daughter of sax/clarinet prodigy Billy Ainsworth who played with top-name big bands and showroom icons such as Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett. She is known for her satiny-smooth voice and throwback style that recalls such pre-bop vocalists as Rosemary Clooney and Peggy Lee; her band of top flight Texas jazz players; and her musicological bent, unearthing and breathing new life into great, long-forgotten songs. It scored her a profile in Downbeat, rave reviews, and numerous awards and nominations, including an unprecedented triple sweep of the Artists Music Guild Awards for Album, Video and Female Vocalist of the Year for New Vintage.
Now, she hopes her music will get as warm a welcome in South Korea as Japan so that she can sing for fans there. She said, “I’m ready to fly again, and I have my gowns and elbow-length gloves already picked out!”
To find Laura’s albums and videos, read more and follow her on social media, visit http://www.lauraainsworth.com.
For media inquiries, contact Pat Reeder at [email protected].
Laura Ainsworth is a multi-award-winning indie retro jazz vocalist from Dallas. She is known for her smooth, sultry voice and elegant pre-bop vocal style; her band of top flight Texas jazz musicians; putting unique spins on standards, and finding and revitalizing long-forgotten gems. It’s a style she calls “New Vintage,” which was the name of her third album that won an unprecedented sweep of the Artists Music Guild Awards for Album, Video and Female Vocalist of the Year. That sophisticated throwback style and the Great American Songbook are in her DNA: she grew up watching her late father, big band sax/clarinet prodigy Billy Ainsworth, back such showroom legends as Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald. Her label Eclectus Records recently signed deals to distribute her music in Japan and South Korea. A deluxe best-of LP and CD called “Top Shelf” were recently released. Her next album of new material, “You Asked For It,” will be released in the US and Japan in July 2022.
Name: Pat Reeder
Address: Eclectus Records, P.O. Box 532137, Grand Prairie, TX
Email: [email protected]