151

Natalie John: Unveiled

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Listening to Natalie John's Unveiled is a jarring, almost alarming experience. It is comparable to a first listen to Tony Williams's Emergency (Polydor, 1969), or Miles Davis on the verge, with his "Lost Quintet" (Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, and Wayne Shorter), on the recently uncovered It's About That Time (Columbia, 2001). Those recordings presented music that was in-your-face on the blade edge of drastic change . A similar, though more diffuse trend is happening today in jazz vocals, and Natalie John has staked out a claim on her parcel of the expanding genre.

Rodgers and Hart's "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" appears harmless until played, beginning with Dominic Fallacaro's electric piano on the verge of too much gain and a militantly marching drum beat from Stuart Bidwell that has more in common with U2's "New Year's Day" than any 1939 show tune. This is not exactly your parent's version of this standard. John sings with a sardonic flair, perfectly aware that her interpretation is both brilliant and groundbreaking. Fallacaro delivers an acoustic piano solo that is both expansive and flowing, and traditional, but the coda returns to the iconoclastic reading at the song's beginning.

Joni Mitchell's "Hissing of Summer Lawns" never loses sight of it being Mitchell song, but John adds a spectral stare to the piece, buoyed again by the soft fuzziness of Fallacaro's electric piano.

John penned the rest of the disc's eight selections, her orchestral and modern writing coupled, most often, with Fallacaro. "Veils of Innocence" sounds more standard than the standard, given to flights of background vocal experimentation, but the real eyeopener is "Aphasia," an oddly timed cataclysm, with Fallacaro's electric piano and Travis Reuter's guitar simpatico in accompanying John's roaming, schizo-form melody. John and Reuter spar, giving way to a guitar solo out of a cutting contest between John McLaughlin and Shawn Lane in an opium dream. This is what exciting music is: challenging and eye opening.

Track Listing: I Didn't Know What time it Was; Veils of Innocence; Songs From a Greyhound Bus; Let Them Be; The Hissing of Summer Lawns; Aphasia; Before It Can Begin; Nothing Else.

Personnel: Natalie John: vocals; Dominic Fallacaro: keyboards; Aidan Carroll: bass; Stuart Bidwell: drums; Travis Reuter: guitar.

Title: Unveiled | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Layers" CD/LP/Track Review Layers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Apocalypse" CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Elusive" CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Town And Country" CD/LP/Track Review Town And Country
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Beninghove's Hangmen Plays Led Zeppelin" CD/LP/Track Review Beninghove's Hangmen Plays Led Zeppelin
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 23, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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