Jo Lawry – Acrobats (ENG review)

Whirlwind Recordings – Available
Jo Lawry – Acrobats (ENG review)

With our partners who promote artists, we manage to make impressive discoveries, and for them, as well as for us, there isn’t just one form of jazz, but an entire universe of artists who, based on their culture or country, offer creations that are all equally impressive.
However, this magnificent album “Acrobats” is not for everyone. When listening to Jo Lawry, the first thing that stands out is that her original universe is likely classical music, and the rest takes us into a highly intellectual form of jazz. Jo Lawry has forged an impressive solo career with a global fan base while earning deep respect as a “musician’s singer” both within jazz circles and beyond. She has also spent nearly a decade performing and recording with Sting and has worked with Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel. The two albums she released as a singer/ songwriter/ composer/ producer, “Taking Pictures” (2015) and “The Bathtub and the Sea” (2017), were critically acclaimed. Now, over 10 years since her last solo jazz album, Lawry presents “Acrobats,” unquestionably returning to this genre alongside bassist Linda May Han Oh and versatile drummer Allison Miller, both highly sought after worldwide.
One is surprised from track to track, even captivated by the strength of her artistic proposals and the search that her art demands—playing with sounds and playing with words. Jo Lawry is simply impressive. The Frank Loesser composition “Travelling Light” opens the album with Lawry immediately taking command, while the remarkable drum and bass team of Oh and Miller seamlessly provide a solid anchor, preparing the listener’s ear for this captivating trio format. The title track “Acrobats” embodies the idea of agility, the desire to play and the trust we need to catch each other and support one another,” explains Lawry.
The game of great performers is often this: analyzing the text, the context, delving into the notes until exhausted, and starting again, accepting the proposals of the artists around them, making room for their expression, and then returning, enriched, just after this or that solo… Lawry reflects, “It’s the most playful and adventurous work I’ve done in the studio, and that’s due to the alchemy of this particular combination of people.” The innate interconnectedness and trust among the members of this trio are palpable, much like a troupe of acrobats. As Lawry says, “You need to have people you know will catch you.”
Collaboration and agility are at the heart of this bold new album by the highly esteemed trio of musicians, led by the visionary Lawry, who present this unconventional and inspired addition to the canon of vocal jazz.
Of course, one can feel the pleasure Jo Lawry takes in this. It must be said that the ensemble accompanying her on this album seems to be like a second skin for her. There is something visionary in her interpretations, and the fact that this artist is Australian is undoubtedly one of the facets that captivate us in her art. So, if you are not afraid of sonic adventures that slightly disrupt your audiophile comfort, this album is certainly essential, and even more.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, February 4th 2024


To buy this album 



  1. Travelling Light (2:50)
  2. Acrobats (4:21)
  3. Taking a Chance on Love (4:48)
  4. You’re The Top (2:21)
  5. ‘Deed I Do (4:00)
  6. You’re The Voice (4:18)
  7. Takes Two To Tango (4:04)
  8. 317 East 32nd Street (5:01)
  9. My Time of Day / I’ve Never Been in Love Before (4:49)
  10. If I Were a Bell (5:52)