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Lorraine Feather: Attachments

Nicholas F. Mondello By

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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 emotional depth. Continuing that pattern of recorded excellence, Attachments reflects and resonates musical perspectives of "I and Thou" relationships, experiences and emotions.

Working with a dozen original melodies across a diverse—but ballad- centric groove spectrum ("Anna Lee," "The Veil"), the scales tip to the verbal here. Feather's exceptional lyrics fit hand in glove with the fine content of her compositional cohorts—Eddie Arkin, Shelly Berg and Russell Ferrante. She's gifted with plucking the perfect words to intersect the music, ensuring that the appropriate emotional punch lands—even when that melodic source is one J.S. Bach ("True") and the J.S. is "just sayin.''

Feather's fine vocal chops are up to the task of subtly flavoring her poignant lyrics. Her swing, rhythmic savvy, intonation and diction are impeccable. A joy to appreciate when she does it, she has a special talent for song-speak ("159," "I Love You Guys") and is as deft with what enters the mic as what appears on paper.

The supporting cast—most of whom have performed on Feather's previous recordings—is outstanding. Pianists Berg, Ferrante and Dave Grusin, as well as guitarists Grant Geissman and Eddie Arkin, are perfect partners in crime, and bassist Michael Valerio, drummers, Michael Shapiro and Gregg Field always bring plenty more than just their axes. The incorporation of Charles Bisharat's violin adds a robust, melancholic dimension to the overall effort.

A few years back there was a nationally-recognized marketing campaign that featured the snowclone phrase, "Got milk?" It was seen everywhere: on TV, t-shirts, cars, billboards, in magazines and in sky-writing. In the case of Attachments, from Feather and her co-collaborators, their cars' bumper stickers might finally read: "Got small gold gramophone?" No questioning.

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).

Title: Attachments | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Jazzed Media

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