225

Fay Victor: Lazy Old Sun

By

Sign in to view read count
Fay Victor: Lazy Old Sun This is a very interesting CD from the American (former ex-pat) singer Fay Victor—her last recording made in Europe before returning to the United States last year. Her repertoire is very eclectic, ranging from standards to original tunes to covers of less-than-satisfactory 1960s-era rock tunes and one offering from the songbook of the highly overrated Randy Newman.

Indeed, it is a testament to Victor's musicianship that she is able to transform such egregiously bad material like the title track (a 1967 Kinks tune) and "People Are Strange" (an offering from the faux-profound Doors) into something resembling true music. Her musical alchemy resembles a great chef who is able to create filet mignon from Spam.

The highlight of the album is Victor's performance of "Laura." She presents the oft-recorded standard in a transcendentally slow adagio which conjures up aural memories of Stan Kenton's version. It is refreshing to hear a musician who knows the value (both emotional and musical) of slowness. In Victor's hands, David Raskin's haunting melody receives the apposite mixture of soulfulness and regret. To this end, she is supported by the solid bass of Jacko Schoonderwoerd and the tasteful trombone obbligato of Wolter Wierbos. Wierbos is also an excellent practictioner of the plunger mute, as witnessed on his solo on "People Are Strange."

A great deal of wit and irony inform the husky sensuality of Victor's voice. She is an impressive lyricist, and on this album she contributes words to Jackie McLean's "Keep It Busy, Keep It Moving" and Sonny Rollins' "Heading West." Victor turns Rollins' tune into her farewell to Europe: "Goodbye to life in Amsterdam/Hello to good old Uncle Sam." Those who have gone the ex-pat route will immediately understand where the singer is coming from.

Another tune to which Victor supplies lyrics is "Stealaway," co-authored with Jochem van Dijk. This dirge-like hymn to the pleasures (agonies?) of travel brims with irony, giving the impression of a deconstructive reading of "Let's Get Away From It All."

Victor also shows that she can swing with the best of them, which is particularly evident on the bluesy jazz waltz "There They Are" (which also features the singer's lyrics).

What is especially trenchant here is that each song occupies its own musical universe. Even though there are only five performers, the instrumentation and texture of each tune is different. In many ways, Victor and her fellow musicians are performing jazz chamber music. This is not just a quintet running through the same standards in one basic format. While this CD may be too cerebral for some and not to everyone's taste, Fay Victor is a gifted musician, possessed of flawless intonation, musical imagination, and inventive phrasing—and for those reasons, this album deserves a first, a second, and a third listening.


Track Listing: 1. Lazy Old Sun; 2. People Are Strange; 3. Laura; 4. There They Are; 5.Heading West; 6. Stealaway; 7. Magere Brug; 8. Nico; 9. Keep It Busy, Keep It Moving; 10. Last Night I Had a Dream; 11. Check Out Your Mind

Personnel: Fay Victor, vocals; Anton Goudsmit, guitar; Wolter Wierbos, trombone; Jacko Schoonderwoerd; Pieter Bast, drums, percussion

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Greene Avenue Music | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "The High Road" CD/LP/Track Review The High Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 8, 2016
Read "Aerials" CD/LP/Track Review Aerials
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: April 20, 2016
Read "Hecho En Puerto Rico" CD/LP/Track Review Hecho En Puerto Rico
by James Nadal
Published: June 6, 2016
Read "Black Shuck" CD/LP/Track Review Black Shuck
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Ida Lupino" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Lupino
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 15, 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!

Buy it!