LISTEN: Laura Ainsworth Shares “Goldfinger”

The second generation jazz singer takes on James Bond

Laura Ainsworth (Image: XO Publicity)

The daughter of acclaimed reedist Bill Ainsworth, second generation jazz singer Laura Ainsworth has the business in her blood.

And although she’s written original tunes, Ainsworth’s mainstays are the standards and forgotten gems of the swing and big band eras, with occasional nods to modern songwriters working in that tradition. When she plays live, she recreates the atmosphere of a mid-1950s cocktail lounge, overlaying it with her own modern approach. 

“My gowns, opera gloves, long earrings, and of course my hair are part of the vintage nightclub singer look,” she says. “Even when I’m dressed casually and get introduced to someone as a jazz singer, they say, ‘You look like a jazz singer.’” 

In a live setting, Ainsworth happily takes requests from the audience. But with live performances on hold for the past couple of years, she’s had to rethink her approach. 

“Because of the social distancing we’ve been going through, I wanted to make an album that inspired at-home entertaining, like Julie London’s 1960 album Julie at Home. I thought about the jam session I would want to have in my living room, with cocktails and friends chatting, and people calling out to me, ‘Hey, Laura, why don’t you sing ‘Goldfinger’?”

You Asked for It brings that vision to life. Laura based the album on requests she received at live shows and via her Facebook and Twitter pages over the last couple of years. The 11-song record has a midcentury jazz party feel, with the core band, including her bandleader Brian Piper on piano, playing together live in the studio to create a loose hangout atmosphere. 

Laura Ainsworth “You Asked For It”: 11 Requested Songs, self-released 2022

And Rock & Roll Globe is honored to premiere the video for the aforementioned signature Bond theme originally sung by Shirley Bassey. 

“Yes, this really was a request!” Ainsworth states of “Goldfinger.” “I was taking part in a jazz jam night at Dallas’ Balcony Club when the bartender requested it. I told her I wasn’t a belter like Shirley Bassey, and she said, ‘No, just do it in your style.’ So we found the chords and lyrics on the Internet and the next week, made up an arrangement for piano, bass and sexy horn solo. It was so surprisingly good, it inspired me to reinvent this brassy, blasting spy movie theme as a cool Burt Bacharach style jazz ballad about a spurned lover warning other women about her toxic ex. I was later floored to learn from Mark Steyn’s ‘Song Of The Week’ feature that this was how composers John Barry, Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley originally conceived it. All the famous 007 bombast was added later.”

Watch the video below. 


VIDEO: Laura Ainsworth “Goldfinger”

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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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