Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

214

Patty Waters: Sings

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
The interpretation of words is an art and Patty Waters turned that art into a singular achievement on her first recording, Sings, originally released in 1965. The songs on that album, now reissued by ESP Disk, took on a plaintive air—wrapped in the whisper of her pain and belted out in a scream of anguish. She was as comfortable with a serene rendition of love as she was in the throws of anxiety and tension.

Waters was singing in a New York club when Albert Ayler heard her. There must have been something unique in her approach that piqued the late saxophonist, who introduced her to ESP Disk label head Bernard Stollman. Waters recorded Sings in 1965 and followed it up with College Tour in 1966, the two reissued by ESP Disk as The Complete ESP Disk Recordings in 2006.

Sings was first released on LP and the two sides were as apposite to each other as they could be. On the first, Waters accompanies herself on piano, her voice haunting the melody, teasing it with a wispy air and then wallowing in it. But Waters had an imagination that overrode the mundane. She stretches the words, dips in and out of the melody, injects pathos and draws an intimate circle as she shares her deepest feelings.

"Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair," which occupied the entire second side of the LP, is at once a revelation and an expulsion. It is a catharsis of the pop and jazz styling that filtered through side one—a revelation of Waters' imagination that could break into frenzied peaks and squall into a whimper. She gives no indication of what is in store, her reading of the words initially straightforward and simple. Repeated motifs, elongated syllables and a sob float in the eerie shadow of her pain. That hurt is expounded by screams in relentless search for elusive hope.

Waters' career after her ESP releases has been sketchy at best, releasing Love Songs (Jazz Focus Records, 1996), accompanied by pianist Jessica Williams; Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe: Live In San Francisco (DBK Works, 2002); and You Thrill Me: A Musical Odyssey 1962-1979 (Water Records, 2004). But it is Waters' first album that signalled the hope of a rare, new talent, one that time has not fulfilled.


Track Listing: Moon, Don't Come Up Tonight; Why Can't I Come to You; You Thrill Me; Sad Am I, Glad Am I; Why Is Love Such A Funny Thing; I Can't Forget You; You Loved Me; Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair.

Personnel: Patty Waters: voice, piano (1-7); Burton Greene: piano and piano harp (8); Steve Tintweiss: bass (8); Tom Price: percussion (8).

Title: Sings | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: ESP Disk

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Reassessing
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

Related Articles

Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read We Two CD/LP/Track Review
We Two
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Angel Band: Free Country Vol. 3 CD/LP/Track Review
Angel Band: Free Country Vol. 3
by Peter Hoetjes
Published: December 9, 2018
Read The Complete Lansdowne Recordings 1965-1969 (Vinyl box set) CD/LP/Track Review
The Complete Lansdowne Recordings 1965-1969 (Vinyl box set)
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 9, 2018
Read The End of the Universe CD/LP/Track Review
The End of the Universe
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Little Big CD/LP/Track Review
Little Big
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 8, 2018
Read "VISIONS: Coast to Coast Connection" CD/LP/Track Review VISIONS: Coast to Coast Connection
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 11, 2018
Read "We Must Mustn't We" CD/LP/Track Review We Must Mustn't We
by John Sharpe
Published: November 16, 2018
Read "The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel – Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9" CD/LP/Track Review The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2018
Read "Heaven & Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Heaven & Earth
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 15, 2018
Read "Live at Kolarac" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Kolarac
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Charlie Porter" CD/LP/Track Review Charlie Porter
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 9, 2018