1

Darrell Katz and OddSong: Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks

Jerome Wilson By

Sign in to view read count
Darrell Katz has been working in Boston for over 30 years compiling an impressive body of work as leader of the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra whose music has drawn from current events, literary works and anecdotes about Charles Mingus and Albert Einstein among other sources. On this new CD he revisits several of the compositions he's written for the Orchestra with a smaller seven-piece ensemble called OddSong.

The makeup of this group is four saxophones, violin ,marimba and voice, giving what had been forceful big band music the weightless feel of classical chamber music. Without the grounding of a full rhythm section, there's a starker urgency to the sound of the saxophones driving and pulling as the violin and marimba swirl around them. They manage to create a lot of different sounds with this grouping. "Jailhouse Doc" carries the bluesy thrust of one of Katz's influences, Julius Hemphill, "Gerbils" is a percolating calypso and "Gone Now" combines the sighing sax sound of a 20's dance band with the percussive energy of Harry Partch.

Most of the texts here were written by Katz's late wife Paula Tartarus and are performed wonderfully by longtime JCA vocalist Rebecca Shrimpton whose work ranges from dramatic recitation on "Squirrel" to swooning torch moans on "Gone Now" and feathery art singing on "Tell Time" and "Like A Wind" which is inspired by a passage in Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio. Violinist Helen Sherrah-Davies contributes a compelling arrangement of Astor Piazzolla's "Libertango" that starts as a homage to Leonard Nimoy (who died while she was writing the arrangement) that incorporates the Star Trek theme before moving on to the Piazzola theme where Shrimpton's chirping soprano and Sherrah-Davies' swirling violin take the lead.

Two other ensembles appear on the last two tracks of the CD. The JCA Winds And Strings, a differently configured chamber unit, provide color for Shrimpton's performance of Tartarus' ominous poem "Ye Watchers And" and the full JCA Orchestra finishes things with a live recording of "The Red Blues/Red Blue," an elegant bluesy lament dedicated to Julius Hemphill with the lush sweep of big band Charles Mingus. This piece is highlighted by Shrimpton's best pure singing of the CD and a ferocious, screaming alto solo by guest Oliver Lake.

Darrell Katz and the various JCA groups have been quietly putting out excellent music for some time. This is one of their finest efforts.

Track Listing: Prayer; Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks; Tell Time; Lemmings; Like A Wind; LLAP Libertango; Squirrel; Gerbils; Gone Now; Red Blue; Ye Watchers And; The Red Blues/Red Blue.

Personnel: #1-10: Rebecca Shrimpton: voice; Jim Hobbs: alto saxophone; Rick Stone: alto saxophone; Phil Scarff: tenor, soprano & sopranino saxophones; Melanie Howell- Brooks: baritone saxophone; Helen Sherrah-Davies: violin; Vessala Stoyanova: marimba & vibraphone. #11: Rebecca Shrimpton: voice; Hiro Honshuku: flute; Phil Scarff: sopranino sax; Melanie Howell-Brooks: bass clarinet; Bill Lowe: tuba; Helen Sherrah-Davies: violin. #12: Rebecca Shrimpton: voice; Hiro Honshuku: flute, EWI; Jim Hobbs: alto sax; Alec Spiegelman: alto sax; Oliver Lake: alto sax; Phil Scarff: tenor sax; Melanie Howell: baritone sax; Gary Bonham: trumpet; Bill Fanning: trumpet; Mike Peipman: trumpet; Jim Mosher: French horn; David Harris: trombone; Bob Pilkington: trombone; Bill Lowe: tuba; Carmen Staaf: piano; Winnie Dahlgren: vibes; Alex Smith: bass; Pablo Bencid: drums; Ricardo Monzon: percussion; Norm Zocher: guitar.

Title: Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Wobbly Danse Flower CD/LP/Track Review Wobbly Danse Flower
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Carry Fire CD/LP/Track Review Carry Fire
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 22, 2017
Read A Night Walking Through Mirrors CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jondo CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Up North" CD/LP/Track Review Up North
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "And to the Republic" CD/LP/Track Review And to the Republic
by Mark F. Turner
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Better Left Unsung" CD/LP/Track Review Better Left Unsung
by Doug Collette
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Shipwreck 4" CD/LP/Track Review Shipwreck 4
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Oh, Clara!" CD/LP/Track Review Oh, Clara!
by Jim Olin
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano" CD/LP/Track Review EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano
by Doug Collette
Published: October 9, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.