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Reviews of "Inside Your Eyes":  http://laurenmeccia.com/reviews/

Jazz Weekly

First, my pet peeve about female vocalists: most of them sound like past their prime princesses who are giving one last shot at doing something with their lives, or are relying on their,ahem, other resources to get their music out. The reason I’m putting this out up front is because Lauren Meccia comes across here like a real musician who happens to sing. Why?

Good question! Well, along with singing, she plays the soprano, tenor and alto saxes, and does so very well on the longing and thoughtful “Atlantis” which has her soprano meld gloriously with some strings, as well showing some optimistic alto on a lovely “What the World Needs Now.” And, because of her wonderful sound on the horn, you can tell that she’s  practiced long tones until she’s blue in the face, because as a vocalist she has a crystal clear sound that rings like a bell, and can effortlessly go for drawing out a lyric as on “Inside Your Eyes” and yet she can also clip out a series of words like she’s jumping through an obstacle course as on the peppy “How High the Moon” or the sizzling “One Note Samba.” Her voice resonates like a glass organ on the luminescent “You Don’t Know What Love Is.”

She also shows some talent in composing, as she teams with the adroitly fingered pianist Donald Vega for many of the tunes. Vega is simply majesterial here, with a playful support and solo on “Cheek to Cheek” as well as a lovely duet with Meccia on “Over the Rainbow.” Producer and bassist Mike Frost provides supple and sensitive support throughout, particularly on a palpable “The Look of Love” while Brian Czach/dr and  Edwin Hamilton/perc   fill up most of the rhythm duties, along with a handful of guests. This is an impressive lady, and it should be great to see what she can do in a concert setting. Bring it on!

Augusta Chronicle

As a musician and a columnist, I never cease to be amazed at just how much astounding talent there is in our part of the world.
From Sharon Jones to the recently returned Wycliffe Gordon, it just seems that recently more and more local musicians are drawing rave notices from all over the world.
You can now add Aiken’s Lauren Meccia to that esteemed group. Her new album, Inside Your Eyes, is chock full of great musicianship and singing. It flows as sweetly as the Savannah as the numbers reflect her many vocal influences that include Eva Cassidy, Norah Jones and Ella Fitzgerald.
Inside Your Eyes features standards such as Irving Berlin’s Cheek to Cheek; Jobim’s One Note Samba; and two sublime Bacharach and David numbers, The Look of Love and What the World Needs Now.
There’s also a couple of fine originals, including the delightful title track that was written by Meccia and pianist extraordinaire and Ron Carter Band member Donald Vega.
Vega’s sensitive virtuosity is straight from the Oscar Peterson/Bill Evans “playbook of smooth.” His fine work on the keys also reminds me of Michael Omartian’s melodic work on my favorite Steely Dan album Aja.
Meccia, who is also the director of jazz ensembles at the University of South Carolina Aiken, is not just a terrific singer but also an extremely gifted saxophonist.
However, it’s her sensuous vocal stylings, which have been described as being “like medicine,” that jumps to the fore on this outing.
Although the album is billed as a solo release, it’s actually a group of musicians who perform often in the Aiken area as The Mike Frost Band. The foursome plays at numerous Aiken venues, including The Red Pepper and the Aiken Speakeasy and Eats.
Frost, who moved down South from his native New York to work with the legendary Jesse Colin Young, first worked with Meccia when she was strictly an instrumentalist.
“When she first joined the group, I had never heard her sing,” Frost said. “One evening, someone made a request for Bye Bye Blackbird and Lauren said she could sing it. She did, and I was blown away!”
Meccia was equally enamored with the Frost trio. “When I first heard them play, I felt that I had to be in a jazz club in New York, not South Carolina!”
Frost is wise in shifting the focus to Meccia, who commands your attention whether it’s on stage or part of a recording. Says the bassist, “As soon as I heard her sing, I started to change all of the band’s arrangements to feature her voice.”
Inside Your Eyes is one of those rare recordings that begs for future listens. When the disc gently concludes with Meccia’s nod to Eva Cassidy on Harold Arlen’s Over the Rainbow, it makes you wish there was more. Isn’t that what a great work is all about? Yes!
You can order the disc as well as several earlier Meccia/Frost offerings (including CD and DVD versions of their marvelous Live at the Red Pepper set) at mikefrostband.com or laurenmeccia.com or at their shows.

Free Times

Mike Frost Band — With Hunter-Gatherer having recently done away with its longstanding Thursday jazz workshops, the scene can definitely use the temporary summer home offered by the Township Auditorium’s Summer Sets Jazz Series. The Mike Frost Band gets the first go this year, aided by a frequent ally in saxophonist Lauren Meccia. Her bright and forceful blasts are a welcome complement to the muscular twisting that Frost provides on electric bass. — Jordan Lawrence. Tuesday at Township Auditorium: 6 p.m., $5; 576-2350, thetownship.org

Mike Frost Band — With Hunter-Gatherer having recently done away with its longstanding Thursday jazz workshops, the scene can definitely use the temporary summer home offered by the Township Auditorium’s Summer Sets Jazz Series. The Mike Frost Band gets the first go this year, aided by a frequent ally in saxophonist Lauren Meccia. Her bright and forceful blasts are a welcome complement to the muscular twisting that Frost provides on electric bass. — Jordan Lawrence
Township Auditorium: 6 p.m., $5; 576-2350, thetownship.org. - See more at: http://www.free-times.com/music/concerts-in-columbia-june-4-11-060414#sthash.R460gAPv.Fg7ZRdL8.dpuf
Bass Musician Magazine

Mike Frost, Bass Musician Magazine Q&A

bassist mike frost 

Name:  Mike Frost

Born In What City:  Queens, NY

Current Band(s) I Play With: Mike Frost Jazz, Jesse Colin Young

Former Bands/Artists I Have Played With: 

Jimmy Bruno, Jesse Colin Young, Esteban, New York Voices, The Gypsy Kings, David Mann (Tower of Power), Manolo Badrena (Weather Report), Todd Turkisher (David Byrne, Ute Lemper), John Scarpulla (Tower of Power, Bruce Springsteen), John Miceli (Meatloaf), George Cintron (Leslie West, Blue Oyster Cult), Karmic Tiempo, The Deep, New York Voices, The Gypsy Kings, and Ken Talve.

CD’s I’ve Released/ Been a Part Of:

Mike Frost: Inner Voice (debut solo album) 1992; Mike Frost Inner Voice: Tears of Joy, 1996; John Hughes’s Local Players: Our Black Hand, 1996; Ken Talve: Across the Board, 1997; The Deep, 2000; Keith Hart: It’s About Time, 2004; Karmic Tiempo: Synergy, 2005; Esteban: Live at Red Rocks, 2005; Cathy Kreger: Pure Imagination, 2007

Recordings with my current band, Mike Frost Jazz:  Live at the Blue Horse, 2011; Riddle Me This?, 2011; Frosty Christmas, 2012

Describe The Way You Play Bass:

I play from the heart.  Every note is heard and felt before it’s played.

What Made Me Decide to Play Bass: 

I started on drums and switched to the bass when I was sixteen.  As soon as I hit the first note on my brother’s $40 bass, I knew I’d be playing bass for the rest of this life.  I went out the next week and bought a 1972 Fender Precision bass for $200 and rode home with it in a hard case, balanced on the handlebars of my bicycle!

My Bass(es):

All my basses are Clifford Roi custom masterpieces.  Most are six-string, both fretted and fretless.  I recently added a four-string with a solid teak neck to my collection that I have really enjoyed.

My Amps and Other Gear:

I have been using a Walter Woods blue light amplifier and BrickHouse speaker enclosures (of my own design) for years.  Recently I’ve been enjoying Aguilar’s ToneHammer 500 amp and the GS410 and GS112 speaker cabinets.

I designed an envelope pedal called the Funkalope built by Foot Fetish pedals, and a distortion/fuzz called Frosted Haze by Getonemaker.

Endorsed By: 

I have endorsements from S.I.T. Strings, Clifford Roi basses, Aguilar Amplification, Hartke, Foot Fetish pedals, Getonemaker, and A Design.

Best Bass Advice You Ever Received:

At the end of my first lesson with Jaco Pastorius in 1982, I received the best advice about creating and delivering music.  He said, “Most of all, take your time… take your time.”  Fortunately I recorded the lesson and used this quote on my own recording of Continuum on the my first solo CD, Inner Voice, released in 1992.

One Piece Of Advice For Other Bassists:

Always listen.  In performance, listen to what is going on around you and respond.  Always listen before you speak.

Favorite Quote or Life Philosophy: 

I always ask my students, “Why do we practice?”  Their answers, as you might imagine, are varied, but my response is that we practice so we don’t have to think when we create music.  As I always say, “When you think, you stink!”

Most Amazing Gig so Far: 

The concert I played at Red Rocks Stadium near Denver, Colorado was the most amazing concert setting I have experienced to this point. The amphitheater is carved from the stone on the side of the mountain.  It looked like the place where the heaven meets the earth.  It was an unforgettable experience to be able to create music there.

Best NAMM Moment: 

The best thing about NAMM is meeting and connecting with some of the greatest musicians in the world, and testing out new gear as it’s coming out.

Most Embarrassing Moment on Stage: 

I was playing at the Cabaret Theater at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut with Esteban when I got the worst stomach virus that hit right as we took the stage.  I had to leave the stage every 10 minutes during the concert and toss my cookies into a garbage can just off stage.  I kept coming back and playing my bass parts, and the best part was that Esteban never noticed!  Still, I’m pretty sure you can hear my heaving in the concert recording.

Favorite Tip to Share on Traveling With Your Bass: 

When I fly with my basses, I use an SKB hard golf bag case.  I can fit two six-string basses in gig bags inside the case and it weighs in at just under 50 pounds!

What Would You Be Doing If You Weren’t A Musician:

If I were not a performing musician, I’d probably spend more of my time doing audio engineering or designing gear.

What You Can Look Forward to From Me This Year: 

I just completed my first Christmas CD, Frosty Christmas.  This next year will include another recording project with my band and some active touring.  Check the calendar at http://mikefrost.co for updates.

Find Me Online: 

Mike Frost:  http://mikefrost.co

Mike Frost Jazz band website: http://mikefrostband.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikeFrostJazz

Facebook:

Mike Frost Jazz band page: https://www.facebook.com/MikeFrostBand / Mike Frost:  http://www.facebook.com/mike.frost.5055

YouTube:

Mike Frost Jazz Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MikeFrostJazz

Mike Frost Bass Channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/mikefrostbass

SoundCloud:  http://soundcloud.com/mike-frost-8
RAPTURE review
"Bass virtuoso Mike Frost has been a famous bassist for years now, always in the vanguard of Jazz and Jazz Fusion.  With "Rapture," Mike and his ensemble of gifted players, joined by incandescent vocalist Rachel Hodgkins, do not disappoint.  Mike's bass is unyielding throughout the mix and who knew he could play such great guitar?  John Miceli's drums are impeccable and he turns in a great performance on this track.  Lauren Meccia's sax lines are hauntingly perfect for this tune, and Rachel Hodgkins's sultry voice is the crowning gem to this song. I love it.  And I'm Not Kidding!
Dann Glenn, Guitarist/Composer
The 45 RPM Radio Show (Bulgaria)
DJ Dobo Marzov, host of the Bulgarian radio show "The 45 RPM Radio Show" plays tracks from Frosty Christmas in this Christmas Eve special!  (Go to time stamp 43:00 to hear our portion of the show!)
Global Bass Magazine