A new phase of my life began in the fall of 2003 when I accepted an invitation to become the Professor of Drum Set studies at the Escola Superior de Música, Artes e Espectáculo (ESMAE) in Porto, Portugal. Confident that I would contribute to the musical life of Portugal, I left NYC knowing that it was important for me to find a group of musicians who want to share their musical ideas and play the music I love to play. Thus, my All Star band was created. As a result of this collaboration between many of Portugal’s finest jazz musicians/composers and myself, this album, “Once Upon A Time in Portugal,” was realized.
When thinking about how I wanted to make this recording, I decided to do it the old fashioned New York way. No rehearsals, just show up, check the music out, start playing it down, make any and all necessary changes, and then lay it down. Music recorded this way is immediate, honest, on the edge, and fresh. I wanted to make a lean, happy, accessible jazz record, an energetic album with strong melodies, inspired soloing, no fat, and lots of swinging. I believe the result speaks for itself.
“Michael Lauren is a master of time and not only worships at the altar of creativity, but also brings his chops to the
sacrificial table with extravagant gestures always informed by the rich legacy of drummers from the history of Jazz”.
Pick any song in this repertoire – including songs that have been composed by his Portuguese contingent, who are
masters in their own right – and you will be awed by Lauren’s ability to play in the pocket, while consistently
referencing melody”. Raul da Gama – JazzdaGama (Canada)
“A generous compilation of sparkling new music. This CD delivers its jazz promise multiple times over” – Debbie
“A new success for The Michael Lauren All Stars.” - La Habitación del Jazz (España)
“Great Music” - João Moreira Santos - Jazz a Dois“ (Portugal)
These musicians are All Stars