Friday, December 18, 2009

Patricia BARBER - A Fortnight in France (Live) 2004

Patricia BARBER - A Fortnight in France (Live) 2004


Since her beguiling 1991 debut, Distortion of Love, songwriter, pianist, and vocalist Patricia Barber has steadfastly remained true to her quirky, left-of-center jazz vision, which includes equal parts edgy pop and rock. Barber has a fluid, restlessly individualistic style on the piano; she can hold her own with anybody. Her songwriting comes from that particular space where the notes and rhythms begin to bleed into one another and come out jagged, sophisticated, and full of razored poetic wit and steely philosophical insight about the ironies of modern life. This set was recorded in three French cities, Paris, Metz, and La Rochelle. Utilizing her longstanding band (bassist Michael Arnopol, drummer Eric Montzka, and guitarist Neal Alger), Barber displays in spades the skill of this band to improvise, swing, and cut across musical lines on five originals and five covers. The disc features two new compositions. "Gotcha" is a steamy, nocturnal piece of jazzed-up pop with a killer seductive bassline by Arnopol. Lyrically, Barber evokes the humor and sophistication of Mose Allison, but takes it to a darker, stiletto-sharp edge. "White World" is a politically spiked, funky, futuristic jazz tune from her upcoming song cycle based on Ovid's Metamorphoses. There are two cuts from her 2002 outing, Verse, as well: the shimmering minor-key and erotically tinged drama of "Dansons la Gigue!," with lyrics by 19th century poet Paul Verlaine, and the silky and forlorn "Pieces." A fine pair of instrumentals are also featured in Barber's "Crash," with its deep groove and killer piano solo, and a near intoxicating read of the nugget "Witchcraft." Add to this a mournful and haunted take on Johnny Mercer's "Laura," the eternally elegant "Blue Prelude," and a finely elongated, loose read of "Norwegian Wood." The set ends with a cabaret version of the old Chris Montez pop classic "Call Me," which -- for all its camp -- comes off as a nice little bit of samba. Unlike most live records, this is a welcome chapter in the Barber book, with surprises, risky behavior, and top-flight musicianship.
By Thom Jurek. AMG.
Critically-acclaimed jazz pianist-vocalist Patricia Barber performs live in France with her outstanding quartet delighting listeners with a mix of original compositions and standards including "Witchcraft," "Call Me" and "Norwegian Wood."

Recorded in March and April 2004 at clubs in three French cities (L’Arsenal in Metz, La Coursive in La Rochelle and La Cigale in Paris), Live: A Fortnight In France is her eighth release, and offers further proof that Patricia Barber is at the vanguard of the new school of jazz singer/songwriters who are continuing to explore intriguing improvisational terrain.

The newest collection from our beloved Patricia Barber was recorded live in three venues during her 2004 European tour (L’Arsenal in Metz, La Coursive in La Rochelle and La Cigale in Paris). The album showcases the pianist/vocalist’s songwriting on five new originals and interpretive skills on 'Laura,' 'Witchcraft,' 'Call Me,' and 'Norwegian Wood.' As you would expect, the sonics are just as stunning as the performances. The bass playing of Michael Arnopol is incredible and recorded impeccably. Neil Alger’s guitar playing is his best work to date and really stands out in his solos. Drum work by Eric Montzka suits the band perfectly. Barber’s singing and playing are tremendous, and through her arrangements, allows the band to truly express themselves. This disc will test the limits of your system.
Our Highest Recommendation!
Michael Arnopol- Bass
Eric Montzka- Drums
Neal Alger- Guitar
Patricia Barber- Piano, Vocals, Producer
01. Gotcha 6:14
02. Dansons La Gigue! 5:13
03. Crash 7:28
04. Laura 5:27
05. Pieces 6:47
06. Blue Prelude 5:54
07. Witchcraft 6:28
08. Norwegian Wood 7:10
09. Whiteworld 6:08
10. Call Me 6:37
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