Amazon.com Widgets

Recent Articles

INTERVIEWS

Lorraine Feather: I Love You Guys

Read "Lorraine Feather: I Love You Guys"

The great pianist and composer, Thelonious Monk, is credited with the remark that “writing about jazz is like dancing about architecture." But don't dash off and try to authenticate the quote. One, it'll just take you down a rabbit hole, and two, whether or not he ever actually uttered those words doesn't really matter. Because far too often, it's true. It's true to the extent that the offending scribe is violating a fundamental law: either he doesn't know the subject well enough to write about it, or he doesn't know how to effectively express himself. Or both.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lorraine Feather: Attachments

Read "Attachments" reviewed by

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lorraine Feather: Attachments

Read "Attachments" reviewed by

As expertly-crafted and enjoyable as all of her other recordings, Lorraine Feather's Attachments is her most raw and intimate CD to date. Here, she applies her famously incisive perception, sweet voice, and stunning lyrical gifts to a frank exploration of life's major emotional ties, describing how they can soothe, stretch, and break as they wind through our days on earth.Naturally these include romantic connections--whether missed, fulfilled, or simply imagined--but as usual, Feather vaults over the tired moon/June/spoon territory to offer her unique and thought-provoking view of ordinary things.For instance, in the sinuous title track, Feather evokes ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lorraine Feather: Attachments

Read "Attachments" reviewed by

Let's get this out up front: Lorraine Feather is a collaborator extraordinaire. Before taking that down a darker path and picturing black op sites, duct tape, and stubbly- faced bad cats, let's spill: take a masterful wordsmith who's also a sublime vocal talent, surround her with highly intelligent soundscapes and wrap with some of L.A.'s usual suspects, and the result is Attachments--a superbly crafted and marvelously performed initiative.Feather's recent solo efforts, Tales of the Unusual (Jazzed Media, 2012) and Ages (Jazzed Media, 2011)--both Grammy- nominated--have trademarked her as an imaginative lyricist whose pen drips wit, wry humor and ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Lorraine Feather

Read "Lorraine Feather"

Like her contemporary Kurt Elling, Lorraine Feather is that rare jazz vocalist and lyricist who reinvents herself with every project. With the February 2012 release of Tales of the Unusual (Jazzed Media) comes a new self so different that casual fans may not recognize her at first. Some might feel challenged or mystified by these ambitious lyrical statements, but the seductive textures are certain to lure them into the eerie world where Feather embraces life's most entertainingly bizarre and aberrant oddities--and has a lot of fun while she's at it. This could turn out to be the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lorraine Feather: Tales of the Unusual

Read "Tales of the Unusual" reviewed by

Be aware and beware from the get-go: Tales of the Unusual, from Grammy nominee Lorraine Feather, is indeed deep, dark and different. The Anne Rice-like black and white cover shot parlayed with the spooky title augur that what is to follow is a foray into a song-world of stories told inside-out and upside-down. The magic here is the marvelous--no, delicious--manner in which Feather, with incredible vocal skill, dynamic shading and inflection, maneuvers through her own lyric queendom. Inspired from sources a diverse as a Twilight Zone episode and a Fellini flick, these thirteen original selections--an eerie and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lorraine Feather: Tales of the Unusual

Read "Tales of the Unusual" reviewed by

Vocalist Lorraine Feather is first and foremost, a lyricist. The daughter of jazz writer, composer, and producer, Leonard Feather, she has released a mess of recordings, all of which feature finely crafted songs composed from the same brew that gave rise to Tippo, Mississippi's Mose Allison and St. Paul, Minnesota's Dave Frishberg. On Tales of the Unusual, the smart lyric writing, contemporary and current, passes for neither modern Country and Western nor old-time Tin Pan Alley, as “Off-The- Grid Girl" illustrates early in the rotation. Co-written with Eddie Arkin, the song features Grant Geissman's sinewy electric guitar, ...

INTERVIEWS

Lorraine Feather: The Girl With the Lazy Eye

Read "Lorraine Feather: The Girl With the Lazy Eye"

While writing the tune “Scrabble" for her recently released CD Ages (Jazzed Media, 2010), lyricist and singer Lorraine Feather's songwriting partner, Dick Hyman, had an unusual request that bordered on a dare: could she work the name of the venerable pianist/composer's family friend Dushka into the lyrics? After all, the middle section of his stride composition “Barrel of Keys," the musical basis for what was becoming “Scrabble," was called “The Dushka Stomp." “Figuring out how to work the name in took me longer than the entire rest of the song, but I'm glad I was ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lorraine Feather: Ages

Read "Ages" reviewed by

It is immediately evident listening to the work of lyricist-vocalist Lorraine Feather that she is a gracious, respectful lover of words. As a brilliant writer and performer, she revels in the power, dynamic intricacies, kooky parallels, and yin-yangs of words and funhouse-mirror entendres. And when she adds to that love a sensitive vocal style that is smart, slick, and swinging, the result is an extraordinary word-song feast. All of these qualities are evident in her terrific CD, Ages.As she did in her prior release, Language (Jazzed Media, 2008), Feather launches into selections all seemingly connected. Here, it is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lorraine Feather: Ages

Read "Ages" reviewed by

Lorraine Feather, daughter of famous jazz critic Leonard Feather, is a seven-time Emmy nominee who once sang backup for Petula Clark and Grand Funk Railroad and has released eight well-received recordings of her own, including Language, (Jazzed Media, 2008). It does not diminish her musicality, charm, or wit to say that, more often than not, Ages sounds like a “chick disc."

For example, it's hard to imagine the man who could easily identify with “The Girl with the Lazy Eye," or the one who would deliberately commit “I Forgot to Have Children" to memory. “Old at Eighteen/Dog Bowl" describes the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lorraine Feather: Ages

Read "Ages" reviewed by

As the daughter of respected jazz critic, Leonard Feather, Lorraine Feather comes to her jazz pedigree honestly, but more from natural talent than dogged filial loyalty. In possession of a pure, rich voice, she tried acting--along with some discouraging stints in the food industry--before finding her multi-colored niche in singing and composing. Ages, about the epochs that women of “a certain age" look back on, is full of artistry and humor.

Co-written with Yellowjackets pianist/arranger Russell Ferrante, guitarist Eddie Arkin, pianist Shelly Berg, banjoist Bela Fleck and pianist/arranger Dick Hyman, Feather plays the light-hearted schoolgirl, then ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Lorraine Feather: Language

Read "Lorraine Feather: Language" reviewed by

Lorraine Feather Language Jazzed Media 2008

By its very title, Language, from singer and lyricist Lorraine Feather, implies that Feather and company believe that they have the musical and linguistic chops to take on such a sophisticated concept for our entertainment. So it's good to find that Feather is a heavyweight who--with a championship caliber crew in her corner--delivers a resounding KO.

To some ears, story songs--word-intense tunes--may seem overly Broadwayesque and theatrical. Sometimes such songs shade goofy into gimmick novelty. Where's the balance? Is it words or melodies? Do we have ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Lorraine Feather: Dooji Wooji

Read "Lorraine Feather: Dooji Wooji" reviewed by

Lorraine FeatherDooji WoojiSanctuary Records2005 Lorraine Feather's latest CD stands out from the swarm of new releases by singers because of her captivating, swinging vocals and witty lyrics, but there's a lot more to her appeal. Dooji Wooji blends many of her musical interests, starting with several instrumentals by Duke Ellington for which she wrote lyrics. These songs (composed between 1928 and 1939) were intended for an earlier release, but held up for reasons beyond her control. “Calistoga Bay is based upon the maestro's “Harlem Air Shaft and swings like mad, with Feather ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Lorraine Feather with Shelly Berg at Danny's Skylight Room

Read "Lorraine Feather with Shelly Berg at Danny's Skylight Room"

One of the highlights of my last trip to New York (in June 2003) was the evening my wife Nancy and I spent enjoying a set by singer/lyricist Lorraine Feather at Danny’s Skylight Room. She has a terrific voice and also a way of keeping a crowd’s attention with her spoken introductions explaining the background of her lyrics prior to singing each song (the printed lyrics she distributes in advance are also a nice touch). Her delivery of each song proves her talent as an actress. So when I learned she was performing there once more during two nights of ...



Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Community Members

Join our growing community of
writers, musicians, visual artists and advocates.

Join Us Today!

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.