312

Patricia Barber: The Cole Porter Mix

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
Patricia Barber: The Cole Porter Mix Patricia Barber is absolutely one of a kind. There are any number of jazz vocalists who have good voices, pitch, time, and piano chops; there are others who also sing as if they were looking straight into your eyes. But there is no one who is so consistently iconoclastic, and so deliberately intellectual. Ever since her first CD in 1989, abstract headiness has defined Barber's compositions and delivery; it was the core of her Mythologies release (Blue Note, 2003), a song cycle based on Ovid's "Metamorphoses." Since that project was commissioned by the Guggenheim Foundation, it was necessarily lofty in intent.



The Cole Porter Mix, Barber's tenth CD, is a clear departure from this approach, since it features straightforward renderings of someone else's music. This set mixes ten of Porter's most familiar tunes with three of Barber's, all delivered with the expert, empathic assistance of long-term guitarist Neal Alger and bassist Michael Arnopol. Guest saxophonist Chris Potter adds his impressive tenor to five tunes, and the drum throne is capably shared by Eric Montzka and Nate Smith.



The music is carefully-crafted and intriguing, with fresh and swinging versions of Porter's timeless classics. It begins with the welcoming "Easy to Love," a sunny bossa with a surprising dash of R&B in the vocal. Barber contributes her own clever lyrics to "You're the Top," and interprets "C'est Magnifique" as a moody ballad, removing all traces of the jaunty vaudevillian Maurice Chevalier, who used to own this song. Potter's solos are remarkable, especially on "Just One of Those Things," "Snow," and "The New Year's Eve Song," and he wails like crazy at the end of "In the Still of the Night." Alger's atmospheric use of guitar distortion on "Get Out of Town" adds to the track's ominous throb, while Smith does great brushwork on the sexy "What is This Thing Called Love?."



Although Barber's originals lack the effervescent sparkle of Porter's music, they are always tuneful, intimate, and full of vivid imagery, and they fit well into this collection. All told, The Cole Porter Mix is Barber at her warmest and most accessible, and it gets richer and deeper with each listening.

Track Listing: Easy to Love; I Wait for Late Afternoon and You; I Get a Kick Out of You; You’re The Top; Just One of Those Things; Snow; C'est Magnifique; Get Out of Town; I Concentrate on You; In the Still of the Night; What is This Thing Called Love?; Miss Otis Regrets; The New Year's Eve Song.

Personnel: Patricia Barber: piano, vocals, melodica; Chris Potter: tenor saxophone; Neal Alger: acoustic guitar, electric guitar; Michael Arnopol: bass; Eric Montzka, Nate Smith: drums, percussion.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Groovin'" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin'
by Jeff Winbush
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "Iceland" CD/LP/Track Review Iceland
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Troy Collins
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Known-Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 30, 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!