CD Reviews DESTINY
"Like vocalists of another era, Van Aarsen's voice is deeply committed, with a hint of Carly Simon. Dig Someone and the lightly Latin Miss You Till I See You. Van Aarsen's originality and songwriting chops make this a tender choice."
-- MARC MYERS, Award-winning Jazz blogger (jazzwax.com)
“---Rocket scientists are nothing new in music....Enter Dr. Louise Van Aarsen, Senior Research Scientist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. That settled, Van Aarsen, a Dutch native transplanted to the US, in her spare time submitted to the tutelage of one of the finest jazz vocalists, East Coast uber-songstress Rebecca Parris. Parris was given a golden chance with a golden talent to move into the production side of things. The results are plush and adult; Parris encouraged Van Aarsen's composing talent, igniting a fire that led to this recording. The music composed and sung by Van Aarsen may best be described as "grown up music for grown ups." Her subjects are time ("Lately"), love ("Destiny," "Open End") and loss and desire ("Without You"). She is not afraid of singing of domesticity, children and happiness. These subjects are all cushioned in thoughtful arrangements tending toward the southern hemisphere and hyper-exact contemporary jazz production. Van Aarsen's voice is no-nonsense and very easy on the ear. Her phrasing is confident, particularly on the slower pieces like "Remember," reflecting the influence of Parris' titanic ballad talent. She does not shy from playfulness in her delivery on "Open End" and "Without You." The band is top notch..Singer Ted Davis and producer Parris join Van Aarsen on "Forever," the three dancing vocal counterpoint to great effect. This may be the aural center of gravity on Destiny. This recording boasts an almost unbearable embarrassment of riches. This is music that is fully realized and is produced as such. Van Aarsen's writing plumbs the depths of the commonplace while making them not seem such. We must wonder where she goes from here.”
-- C MICHAEL BAILEY, Senior Contributor at All About Jazz, for the full article, click this link
"JAZZ is a land of interpreters and only occasionally of singer-songwriters. Yet Louise Van Aarsen, a Dutch-born, Boston-based jazz vocalist, has arrived on the scene with a whole album of fresh original songs and a unique voice. Louise's singing is cool yet worldly-wise; her musicianship is so solid that she doesn't have to turn any vocal cartwheels to prove her jazz credibility.
The words are her focus, and she delivers them a distinctive sound and complete directness. Under the guidance of her musical director and producer Rebecca Parris - a jazz singer of profound depth and much influence - Louise has given us an impressive debut CD. The backgrounds incorporate all sorts of styles, including swing, Latin, fusion, and lush balladry. The instrumental details support and never distract from Louise's storytelling, which always rings true.”
-- JAMES GAVIN Music Biographer and author of "Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker" and "Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne"
“This jazz newcomer is a breath of fresh air....most intriguing is her lack of interest (bravo!) in covering the rather boring standard fare that become a trap for so many developing singers. In actuality, she was a prolific songwriter who evolved into a singer as well.
Van Aarsen wrote, or in a couple of instances co-wrote, the music and/or the lyrics for all 14 tunes here. The concept was to present something very personal in meaning – and she has done that exquisitely. Each is a take on a different aspect of love and relationships. Rebecca Parris produced this session, another solid ring of endorsement.”
-- KEN FRANCKLING award-winning Jazz Journalist , Jazz Blogger at Jazz Notes and freelance contributor to JazzTimes, Hothouse, and Jazziz