NY Cabaret Review by Paulanne Simmons




According to jazz vocalist Laurie Krauz, Tapestry Rewoven, her “beloved homage to Carole King,” began many years ago while she was in the gym working on the lat pulldown machine. At the time, she was listening to King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” when out of nowhere came the phrase “Tapestry Rewoven.”

Krauz immediately realized the artistic and commercial possibilities of the phrase and got in touch with Daryl Kojak, whose long experience as a composer, arranger and musical director more than qualified him for the task of reinterpreting King. There are twelve songs on the Tapestry album, and Krauz and Kojak have re-imagined all of them in unique and exciting ways, infusing them with the swing and swagger of jazz and the passions of the blues.

The ultimate goal of this project is to record all twelve songs and make them accessible to young people who are not familiar with the musical genre that is arguably America’s greatest contribution to the arts. Toward that end, on Sept. 7, Kojak (with The Daryl Kojak Octet: Michael Bates on bass, Gene Lewin on drums, Sean Conly on sax, Jamie Fox on guitar) and Krauz (with backup vocals by Emily Bindiger, Margaret Dorn and Carolee Goodgold) gave the audience at the Metropolitan Room a taste of of the many gems in Tapestry Rewoven.

Doubtless many in the audience found personal favorites in the repertoire. Krauz said hers is “Home Again.” And a few of the songs surely brought back emotion-laden memories. Krauz confessed that “You’ve Got a Friend” always makes her think of her college roommate. Nevertheless, Krauz did not shy away from adding her own lyrics at times or making highly personal choices in her delivery.

Krauz has great range and power in her voice. She easily turns her vocals into instrumentals. Add to that the obvious synergy between Krauz, Kojak, the band and the back-up vocalists and you have contemporary jazz at its best.

For women of a certain age, Tapestry was “the altar at which they prayed,” while in college. Tampering with something as iconic as this album takes guts. Making it work takes lots of talent and a touch of humor. Fortunately Krauz has all three.

Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22 Street, www.metropolitanroom.com 212 206-0440