Stories » 'Out of Dust' is of the very highest quality and a 'must have' for Laila Biali admirers / JAZZ VIEWS

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'Out of Dust' is of the very highest quality and a 'must have' for Laila Biali admirers / JAZZ VIEWS

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All but one of the songs are written or co-written by Laila and are mostly a response to her life experiences. It is a somewhat more subdued recording for the most part than her fans are used to, reflective but at the same time with an optimistic outlook towards the future. She has surrounded herself with a fine group of supporting musicians, with the soprano saxophone solos from Godwin Louis outstanding on four of the tracks, plus notable contributions along the way by multi reed man John Ellis, her husband the drummer Ben Wittman and Snarky Puppy trumpet ace Mike "Maz" Maher. The presence of both string and background vocal quartets add breadth to the overall soundscape. The lyric writing is superb, her vocals are soulful with near perfect diction. As far as her piano skills are concerned, it is no wonder that she has been the recipient of as many awards in the keyboard category as she has for her vocals. Her style at the piano is very much in the "less is more"mode, making great use of time, space and clarity. The lady is a very fine storyteller in song, the opening track The Revival with its defiant lyric, the beautiful Wendy's Song plus the elegant Alpha Waves are more than proof of this. The only cover version on the disc is Gregory Porter's Take Me To The Alley. Here the Canadian songstress tackles the tune with great aplomb, delving deeply into the sentiment and really making it her own. Overall the album stands just outside what most would consider to be the broad church of jazz, but only just. It is however very much within the genre occupied by the likes of Joni Mitchell, K.D. Lang and the like. Above all its of the very highest quality and will be a must have for her growing legion of admirers.