165

Rachel Z: Dept. of Good And Evil

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Rachel Z: Dept. of Good And Evil Brooklyn-based pianist Rachel Z has won her fame for thinking outside the box when playing jazz, often looking for material outside the genre's realm to make her music. On previous discs, she has transformed the music of Kurt Cobain, U2 and Kate Bush.

On this new release, she includes, among a handful of originals, personal readings of tunes by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sting and Bill Withers, alongside material by Wayne Shorter and Joe Henderson with very positive results. Listeners unfamiliar with the rock tunes presented here would never know that the originals featured electric guitars and (in some cases) screaming vocals.

On the original version of "Maps, vocalist Karen O sings the chorus with a certain jaded feel backed by a cacophony of guitars and drums; Rachel Z translates this into the piano, turning the song into a jazz-inflected pop tune. Legendary bassist Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel) and trumpeter Erik Naslund join Z's trio for Sting's "King of Pain, where Naslund freely improvises and Levin plays on his twelve-string Chapman Stick, filling in with odd high octave notes as Maeve Royce plays a more conventional bass line.

One of the key tracks on the disc is "Moon and The Sun, an original penned by Z and drummer Bobbie Rae, that features rare vocals by the pianist, delivered with plenty of feeling.

The closing song is the poignant original, "Saint Of New Orleans. The tune almost has a prog-rock feel at times and this is where the pianist really cuts loose, playing with amazing speed during a few moments and then shifting to a softer mode. It is one of the greatest moments of a disc that deserves repeated hearings, for every spin brings fresh discoveries to the listener's ears.

Track Listing: Soul Meets Body; Milky Way; King of Pain; Lakme; Inner Urge; Moon and Sun; Maps; Love Will Tear Us Apart; ESP; Walking on Water; Ain't No Sunshine; Saint of New Orleans.

Personnel: Rachel Z: piano, vocals; Maeve Royce: bass; Bobbie Rae: drums, percussion, vocals. Guests: Tony Levin: electric bass; Erik Naslund: trumpet.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Savoy Jazz | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Pathways CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Landing CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Words And Music CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Faces CD/LP/Track Review Faces
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Ullr" CD/LP/Track Review Ullr
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Miniatures" CD/LP/Track Review Miniatures
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "On A Monday Evening" CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Nature City" CD/LP/Track Review Nature City
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 27, 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!