First, there is "who exactly is Billie Jane Lee Lorraine Feather?" Well, she is the daughter of jazz writer and impresario Leonard Feather (1914 -1994) and Jane Feather, a former big-band singer and ex-roommate of Peggy Lee (ergo "Lee"). The Billie in Feather's name is her godmother, Billie Holiday, and the Jane, well that is obvious. The Lorraine part is from the Cliff Burwell (music) and Mitchell Parish (lyrics) 1928 standard, "Sweet Lorraine." That is quite a pedigree by any estimation. Bigger than this is the fact that Feather is a noted singer and lyricist who has released eight solo jazz recordings featuring only her music. That is, eight recordings since 2000. Feather is one busy woman.
Most recently, Feather has released Tales of the Unusual (Jazzed Media, 2012) and her collaboration with pianist Stephanie Trick as Nouveau Stride on Fourteen By Nouveau Stride (Relarion, 2013), both to positive attention. Feather now moves into closer and more intimate confines on Attachments.
With the opening of "A Little Like This," it is apparent that this will be a different kind of Lorraine Feather recording. Introduced with Charles Bishrat's earthy and genuine violin, "A Little Like This" proceeds as an edgy:
"Like the softest note ever played I try to grab it in the air but all in vain Gone, like an earring down the drain, gone. Sometimes there's a kiss with no longing. Sometimes there's a longing but no kiss. nce in a blue moon, It can be a little like this..."
Clever lyrics of the past give way to densely personal ones in the present. Feather works again with her regular collaborators, Russell Ferrante, Shelly Berg and Eddie Arkin. She adds the wares of Dave Grusin, with whom she composed the jaunty, "I Thought You Did." The song was based on Grusin's "Memphis Stomp," that was originally part of the soundtrack to The Firm (Paramount, 1993). Feather opines:
"As you can see, I'm glad you've got that goin' about me. I think of you, I get all Rhapsody in Blue..."
Well, the lyrics are still clever, as well as densely personal.
Track Listing: A Little Like This; Attachments; I Thought You Did; Anna Lee; 159; We
Have the Stars; I Love You Guys; I Hope I Never Leave This Place;
Hearing Things; The Veil; Smitten With You; True.
Personnel: Lorraine Feather: vocals; Russell Ferrante: piano (1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9,
11); Shelly Berg: piano (6, 7, 10); Dave Grusin: piano (3, 12);
Michael Valerio: bass (1, 2, 4, 5, 7-9, 11), vocals: (5); Grant
Geissman: guitar (1, 5, 9); Eddie Arkin: guitar (2, 5); Michael
Shapiro: drums and percussion (1, 2, 5, 9, 11); Tony Morales: percussion (1) Gregg Field: drums (7); Charles Bisharat: violin (1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 11, 12); Bob Mintzer: bass clarinet (11).
I saw Jimi Hendrix in 1968 at the Kansas City Memorial Hall... never been the same since. That concert is why I work in music today. Are you experienced?
The transition from Hendrix to jazz was easy. Love all music. Well, mostly...