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Fay Victor’s name is new to this reviewer. On this new CD from Timeless records we get a glimpse of Victor’s ability to perform some pretty crafty vocalese on such standards as Miles Davis’ “All Blues”, Monk’s “Ask Me Now”, Jobim’s “Wave” and others. 11 tracks in total, all of which are uniquely personal renditions of tried and true classics. At times Ms. Victor rekindles thoughts of the late Betty Carter. Fay Victor possesses a wide vocal range and often changes pitch on a moment’s notice, emphasizing the lyrics as if she wrote them. Good non-intrusive support from a band that appears to be comprised of Dutch/European musicians especially since this CD was recorded in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. On “All Blues”, Ms. Victor articulates passionate, steamy vocals while staying within the boundaries of this jazz classic. Victor jazzes it up a notch more on Cole Porter’s “Everytime We Say Goodbye”. Throughout “In My Own Room”, Victor displays a good tonal range and overall possesses an infectious, appeasing voice that is quite appealing. Victor’s diction and phrasing draws some parallels to Betty Carter but not quite as prominent or exceedingly noticeable. This is a good effort that serves up a nice hodgepodge of standards and classics. Fay Victor, while at times low key and sublime doesn’t re-invent the wheel but identifies herself as a worthy addition to a legacy of fine jazz vocalists that are worth hearing.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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