Last updated on July 14th, 2023 at 11:27 pm
On July 22nd, jazz powerhouse Leslie Vincent is set to release her second full-length album, About Last Night. The selection of tracks maps out the course of an evening, from the flirty sensuality of getting dressed to go out, to the peaks of falling in love with midnight regrets, resolving with the start of a brand new day and memorializing those bittersweet memories.
About Last Night capitalizes on Leslie’s established wit and charm while expanding her palette with a soiree into vintage blues. With a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theater, Leslie has become known for her joyous performances and appreciation of the songs. About Last Night captures that magical spirit, taking you along for a ride into the sizzle and kaleidoscope on all ten tracks.
Opening the album with the single “Psychedelics With You,” we’re placed in San Francisco for the groovy ride-along. The trumpet growls, the drums are flashy and driving, and a pure party vibe exhilarates throughout. Leslie’s original ends in an explosion of hooting and hollering, kicking off the journey with spunk.
Written by Irving Berlin in 1923 and covered by the likes of Nat King Cole, Bob Dylan, Rosemary Clooney, and Sinatra (Frank and Nancy), “What’ll I Do” gets a fresh new approach with Leslie’s silky, warm voice before shifting into the upbeat swing. We then get a healthy showcase of talent as Ted Godbout (piano), Matt McIntyre (bass), and Ben Ehrlich (drums) all deliver delightful solos to close out the song.
That’s followed by another original, “Icetown Blues,” a bluesy track that stays light on your feet, uplifted with Leslie’s trademark charm sewn into her vocals. The song magnifies the extended winter season in Minnesota, where the ice and muted blues and grays carry on. We hear the plight of memory as the melting season signifies change.
“The road less traveled is now far behind
And I’m stuck squarely in this tundra of mine
Looking for a way to survive this time”
“Stars Fell On Alabama” by Frank Perkins and Mitchell Parish feels like a visual movie theme song. Referring to the November 1833 Leonid meteor shower observed in Alabama, Leslie’s cover shimmers with cymbals, violin, viola, and cello. “Laura,” written by David Raskin for the 1944 movie of the same name, is another well-known standard. Despite being recorded over 400 times, Leslie once again reinvigorates the track with sentimental softness.
“And you see Laura on a train that is passing through.
Those eyes how familiar they seem
She gave your very first kiss to you,
That was Laura but she’s only a dream.”
The album then saunters into “Black Coffee” by Sonny Burke. The brushes on the drums sound like the espresso machine churning drinks out, setting the stage for Leslie’s sultry sway and alluring voice. The song hangs on the patience of waiting for love to come around again, finding crutches to tide you over in the pause.
The newest cover on the album is “How You Loved Me on Mars,” a Josh Nelson & Kathleen Grace track. A hopeful song about caring for each other, it elevates the importance of all the people we love and those pockets of sentimental places in our life. The penultimate song hits on all levels as the band builds a soft planet for Leslie’s voice to touchdown on. The soft, gentle ending of the song carries reminders of the best things in life and in our memories.
In what feels like an encore to the record, “This Time the Dream’s On Me” provides ownership of a dream with Leslie’s most dynamic vocal performance of the album. The song also encapsulates the power of the performers, starting with a poignant piano introduction, then building with drums and bass. The trumpet hits midway like a cool breeze before Leslie returns with cozy confidence to close the album.
About Last Night builds from the standout 2020 release These Foolish Things, with a celebration event at The Belvedere at Crooners for a vinyl release of the album on July 22nd. This album pushes Leslie Vincent further into the bright spotlight and solidifies her place among a vibrant scene of female vocalists.