Home » Jazz Articles » Darrell Katz and OddSong: Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks

1
Album Review

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

By

Sign in to view read count
Darrell Katz and OddSong: Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks
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.

Album information

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


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Overtones
Doug MacDonald
Acoustic Burnside
Duwayne Burnside
Tone Paintings
Craig Davis

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.