225

Lorraine Feather: Ages

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
Lorraine Feather: Ages 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 an array of life passages. This is thoughtful but not overbearing stuff. Feather's unique approach as vocalist to her own lyric (and to melody) seems simultaneously reverential, child-play confident, and wickedly intelligent.

From the swinging entry cut ("A Lot to Remember") throughout, Feather once again solidifies her role as a supreme mistress of making wordplay sweetly sting, swing, and connect emotionally. Her vocal chops—especially her dynamic nuance and sing-speak—are absolutely divine, as in "Peculiar Universe," the wistfully beautiful "Perugia," and ditzy-humorous "I Forgot to Have Children." At times it seems Feather reaches out with her delicate fingers, sometimes share-speaking across a café table ("Two Desperate Women in Their Late Thirties"), sometimes ragtime frantic ("Scrabble"). There's connection galore throughout.

While Ages is not the first-round knockout punch of Feather's prior release, Language, it certainly is an outstanding and special CD. Feather and crew make the most of the intriguing platforms provided. Superbly supported by some of Los Angeles's best musicians, including Shelly Berg and Russell Ferrante on piano, Warren Luening on trumpet, Michael Valerio on bass, and Grant Geissman on guitar, with guest appearances by pianist Dick Hyman and banjoist Bela Fleck, the entire ensemble generates abundant energy and taste. Composers Berg, Hyman, and Eddie Arkin offer strong melodic content the equal of Feather's superb lyrics. However, Ages is primarily a showcase for lyric and line and a truly marvelous singer's unique attachment to them (the triple-meter throwback melody of "Girl with the Lazy Eye" and the moving "I Always Had a Thing for You").

Ages is exquisite, impressive music. It is marvelous listening offered up by a brainy gold-standard bearer of lyric who happens to be an incredibly talented vocal artist. This Feather is a heavyweight at both. Ages is golden.


Track Listing: A Lot to Remember; Peculiar Universe; I Forgot To Have Children; Old at 18/Dog Bowl; Perugia; Things I Learned in High School; Two Desperate Women in Their Late 30s; The Girl With the Lazy Eye; How Did We End Up Here?; Scrabble; I Always Had a Thing for You.

Personnel: Russell Ferrante: piano (2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9), arranger (2, 5, 7, 8); Shelly Berg: piano (3, 6, 11), arranger (3, 6, 11); Dick Hyman: piano (10), arranger (10); Michael Valerio: bass (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11); Grant Geissman: guitar (1, 3, 6, 7, 11); Eddie Arkin: rhythm guitar (1), arranger (1, 4, 9); Bela Fleck: banjo (2); Michael Shapiro: drums (2, 4, 7, 9), percussion (2, 4, 6, 7, 9); Gregg Field: drums (1, 3, 6, 11); Tony Morales: dog bowl and additional percussion (4), trash can (7); Warren Luening: trumpet (1, 2, 4); Bob Leatherbarrow: vibes (9).

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Jazzed Media | Style: Vocal


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Tierney Sutton Tierney Sutton
vocalist
Eden Atwood Eden Atwood
vocalist
Karrin Allyson Karrin Allyson
vocalist
Diane Hubka Diane Hubka
vocalist
Dena DeRose Dena DeRose
piano
Nnenna Freelon Nnenna Freelon
vocalist
Ivie Anderson Ivie Anderson
vocalist
Diane Schuur Diane Schuur
vocalist
Judy Wexler Judy Wexler
vocalist
Jacqui Naylor Jacqui Naylor
vocalist
Leni Stern Leni Stern
guitar

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Free for One" CD/LP/Track Review Free for One
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 31, 2016
Read "Guitar Fantasies" CD/LP/Track Review Guitar Fantasies
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "Finding Love in an Oligarchy on a Dying Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Finding Love in an Oligarchy on a Dying Planet
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: March 23, 2016
Read "Deep Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Deep Memory
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!