5 Questions: Laura Pursell

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Photo: Tommy So

Jazz singer Laura Pursell is celebrating the release of her latest album “The Very Last Dance Hall Left In L.A. The accomplished singer, songwriter, and actor is no stranger to the music industry. He father is pianist Bill Pursell the go-to-man in Nashville for many of country music’s legends: Marty Robbins, Patsy Cline, Chet Atkins and Johnny Cash. Her soulful and smooth jazz vocals are definitely finding an audience outside of her father’s shadow.

SD: How much influence did growing up in the music industry have on your own musical career?

LP: Music has always been a big part of my life. It was a central part of my home growing up. I was listening to music even before I could speak. My dad is pianist, Bill Pursell, who has recorded with some of Country’s music greatest legends: Marty Robbins, Patsy Cline, and Johnny Cash.

SD: How did you find your passion and voice in Jazz?

LP: By moving away from Nashville. I had to move away from the shadow of my dad. I moved to LA and started acting which led to me singing. I developed a huge passion for the American songbook after meeting jazz musician Ron Anthony, who introduced me to the Sinatra family. There is no greater music than music from the Great American Songbook.

SD: I love the title – “The Very Last Dance Hall Left In L.A.” What was the idea behind the title?

LP: I actually wrote the lyrics about 15 years ago and then just tucked them away. Having my dad set my lyrics to music was truly awesome. The album is a 10- track collection of jazz, country, and pop standards, with two original tunes.

SD: What was it like working with your dad, music composer, and former session pianist, Bill Pursell, on this album?

LP: It was challenging, fun, and frustrating. He is my dad. We would disagree on all kinds of things from volumes to vocals. What I do love about him is that even at 89 years old, he is a man of a million ideas. He always thinks outside of the box. I still learn from him every day.

SD: How does this the new album compares with your previous albums?

LP: The production value of this album is so much better. We had a rich sounding orchestra and a marvelous string section. He created such a luscious sound. Also, we recorded this old school. Working with my dad on this album was truly a family affair. It was my love letter to him.

For more information on Laura visit www.laurapursell.com. Her new CD “The Very Last Dance Hall Left In L.A.” is now available on iTunes.

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