133

Lorraine Feather: Tales of the Unusual

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Vocalist Lorraine Feather is first and foremost, a lyricist. The daughter of jazz writer, composer, and producer, Leonard Feather, she has released a mess of recordings, all of which feature finely crafted songs composed from the same brew that gave rise to Tippo, Mississippi's Mose Allison and St. Paul, Minnesota's Dave Frishberg.

On Tales of the Unusual, the smart lyric writing, contemporary and current, passes for neither modern Country and Western nor old-time Tin Pan Alley, as "Off-The- Grid Girl" illustrates early in the rotation. Co-written with Eddie Arkin, the song features Grant Geissman's sinewy electric guitar, leading to a full-bore cabaret number with the craziest lyrics you could hope for:

We've got these rats as big as cats, Slugs as long as your arm, A nasty nest of rattlesnakes Down by the onion farm. We brought them in to eat the rats, Which, as I stated, are big as cats. All they did was multiply and grow. It's a very scary place to be, Unless you're an off-the-grid girl like me.


Along with these tasty and expeditious lyrics, Geissman injects some muscular slide guitar that melds well with Charles Bisharat's gothic violin, transforming this turn-of-the-century stage number into gold.

"Five" is smart jazz-hip hop, percussion-propelled and cleverly fashioned. "Out There" is an eerie Outer Limits type of song, where Feather sings lyrics from a fevered Twin Peaks dream fueled by gin and clove cigarettes.  Pianist Shelly Berg adds a block-chord solo that perfectly fits into the Twilight Zone of Feather's poetry (derived, she admits, from The X-Files).

Feather adapts music from Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi on "I Took Your Hand," while the too-smart "Indiana Lana" assimilates Duke Ellington's "Jubilee Stomp." Spreading her mojo over the two disparate pieces, she anoints them with her special brand of genius and fun. File Tales of the Unusualunder "the smartest jazz lyrics you are likely to hear."

Track Listing: The Hole in the Map; Off-the-Grid Girl; Where is Everybody?; The Usual Suspects; Five; Sweet Miriam; Out There; Get a Room; Cowbirds; I Took Your Hand (Fellini's Waltz); Indiana Lana; To Live Another Day; Ahh.

Personnel: Lorraine Feather: vocals, lyricist; Russell Ferrante: piano (1-6, 9, 12, 13), arranger (1, 4, 5, 9, 13); Shelley Berg: piano and arrangements (7, 8, 10, 11); Michael Valerio: bass (1-10, 12); Grant Geissman: guitar (1-6, 12); Mike Miller: guitar (7, 8); Michael Shapiro: drums (1-5, 12), percussion (1, 3, 4, 5, 12); Gregg Field: drums (6, 7, 8, 10) Charles Bisharat: violin (1-3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12); Lorraine Feather: background vocals (1, 5, 7, 13); Carlos Del Rosario: background vocals (13); Eddie Arkin: arranger (2, 3, 6, 12).

Title: Tales Of The Unusual | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Jazzed Media


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Stinger" CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
by Joe Gatto
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Voices in the Void" CD/LP/Track Review Voices in the Void
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Better Left Unsung" CD/LP/Track Review Better Left Unsung
by Doug Collette
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Live In Brooklyn" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere" CD/LP/Track Review Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere
by Mike Jacobs
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts" CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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