Laila Biali - "Got To Love" (Chronograph Records): The name of this Toronto-based singer/songwriter has a gently mellifluous ring to it, and the music she has made has followed suit. "Got To Love" is the new single from a self-titled album coming out on Friday, and it showcases a more upbeat and energetic R&B meets pop sound for an artist who has moved freely between jazz and pop camps.
The tune is a foot-stomping treat, with hand claps and hard-driving keyboard riffs helping set a platform atop which Biali's pure and unaffected voice shines. The accompanying video is also a kinetic treat, with Biali dancing and exuberantly singing around her house to the amusement of her eccentric neighbours. A tune and a clip to put a smile on your dial indeed.
Biali first made a mark as a jazz-rooted pianist/singer, and a stint living in New York City sharpened those chops. While based there, she toured with Chris Botti, Paula Cole and Suzanne Vega, and recorded with and supported Sting.
In 2011, she earned a Juno nomination for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year with Tracing Light, then turned to more of a pop direction in 2015, with House of Many Rooms, her first album of entirely original music. Laila Biali comprises both originals and covers, including fresh takes on Coldplay's hit "Yellow" and David Bowie's "Let's Dance."
Last September, she became the host of CBC’s national radio show, Saturday Night Jazz. Biali begins a six-date tour of western Canada in Winnipeg on Jan. 24, followed by shows in Ottawa (Feb. 9), Waterloo (Feb. 11) and Toronto (Feb. 13). A full itinerary here
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