Another step forward for Lauren in a hugely enjoyable set that sees her setting the bar increasingly higher.

Mighty Quinn Records MQR1166

Lauren Bush (voice); Liam Dunachie (piano & Rhodes); Dave Mannington (upright bass); Conor Chaplin (upright & electric bass); David Ingamells (drums); Nick Costley-White (guitar); Martin Shaw (trumpet)

Recorded October 2022 & February 2023

One of the pleasures of writing for Jazz Views is having the opportunity to follow the progress of an artist with each new release. It has been my very great pleasure to follow Lauren Bush’s progress over the last few years.

Having reviewed Lauren’s debut album, “All My Treasures,” in 2016 and the follow-up, “Dream Away,” five years later, it was with great interest that I listened to her third album. If you’re looking for continued growth and artistic development in a musician, then Lauren has certainly delivered.

Earlier today, prior to writing this review, I listened again to all three albums back-to-back and was amazed at what I was hearing.

Listening in such a concentrated way, I was struck by how consistent each of the albums is and how the vocalist’s progress is not taking place with gargantuan leaps but steadily, as we can see here, in a paced and sustainable development.

One huge advantage for Lauren is retaining the services of pianist Liam Dunachie, who arranges much of the music, and the two have built a solid rapport that has resulted in a formidable partnership.

With “Tide Rises,” Lauren Bush has found a perfect balance between the old and the new, with a couple of strong original compositions, a handful of standards, and some contemporary works that she has done a wonderful job of adapting to her voice.

The album gets off to a stunning start with a brisk and swinging “Joy Spring.” The tricky lyrics are handled with great aplomb by Bush, and after a lovely solo from Dunachie, she gets in a nice scat chorus of her own.

This is followed by the title track, one of two original compositions, in which Lauren has drawn inspiration for the lyrics from the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Played over an ethereal opening from Rhodes and guitar (and the only song to feature electric bass), the music evolves over a gentle tempo with an empowering delivery from Lauren. The other original, “Easy Does It,” has a relaxed, almost lazy tempo, and Lauren has written lyrics that add to the gospel flavor of the music.

Versatility and variety being the name of the game, we are treated to a beautiful bossa nova written by Earl Okin titled “Madrugada,” and Joni Mitchell’s “Circle Game” is given a delightful treatment, with some exquisite playing from all. The music flows in a beguiling manner, and Mitchell’s lyrics are given a sensitive reading by the vocalist.

Standards have been a constant inspiration for Lauren, and with the depth of maturity that she has gained in the last few years, I have witnessed her raise her game significantly. It is difficult to pick one over another. Her treatment of “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” is flawless and joyous, with a lovely scat solo too, and “Nobody Else But Me” has a charm all of its own.

If proof is needed of Bush’s stature as a jazz vocalist, then take a listen to the ballad performance on “This Is Always.” A duet for voice and piano, this is a pure delight and even, dare I say it, surpasses the duo’s reading of “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most,” which was such a highlight of her last album, “Dream Away.”

Closing with another contemporary tune, this time from the pop duo Yazoo, Lauren and Liam Dunachie cleverly recast Vince Clarke’s song, with Lauren giving the excellent Alison Moyet a run for her money.

Another step forward for Lauren in a hugely enjoyable set that sees her setting the bar increasingly higher.