Lauren Newton (1952, American avant-garde jazz vocalist)

Lauren Newton is an American avant-garde Jazz vocalist and a champion of extended vocal techniques, more active and recognized in the German-speaking countries of Europe than in the US (she holds a teaching position in Lucerne, Switzerland), and a founding member of the Vienna Art Orchestra, the leading Jazz ensemble from Vienna in activity from 1977 to 2010. It’s not normally the kind of music I listen to, but I crossed Newton on the Vienna Arts Orchestra’s recording of arrangements of Satie, “The Minimalism of Erik Satie”, HatART 6024, barcode 7619925602423 (1989), and her contribution was outlandish enough for me to want to explore more. More was her album Lauren Newton: Filigree on hatOLOGY 519 (recorded in 1982 but released to CD only in 1998), but also and even foremost her contribution as the singer in the rock arrangement of Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder – the kind of thing that can send the Mahlerite into a rage, but I actually enjoyed it a lot.

More about Newton on her website, and samples of her unique vocal style on  YouTube.

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