Lalo has never met a genre, time signature, instrument or electronic device she didn’t like. However, she did reject a name once—her own. Born Laura Friedman, the stunning Savannah swinger chose her nickname, Lalo. Her eclecticism saturates her latest release, a restless collection of mood swings that defy pigeonholing. What can be described with certainty are her hyphenated gifts as composer-arranger-vibraphonist.
The pleasing, shimmering sounds of her vibes are ubiquitous, dominating each of the seven tracks. She solos, comps, adds meaningful counterpoint and considering the colors she calls for—bass clarinet, baritone sax, alto/tenor saxes, flute, piccolo, Rhodes, prepared piano, exotic percussion from finger cymbals to Home Depot drums (that’s how they’re listed!)—her compositions reveal a wide spectrum from evanescent to iridescent. Does it swing? No way, but, oh, what tone poems she creates. Are they tonal? At all times, but the tone centers keep shifting. Her talents cry out for visualization, Hollywood style. Little wonder she graduated from Berklee summa cum laude and has written for the Savannah Symphony Orchestra. Ah, but that was back in the straightahead, pre-Lalo days.