Jazz CD Reviews

Lorraine Feather – Attachments – Jazzed Media

Life stories offered in a most compelling way.

Published on August 30, 2013

Lorraine Feather – Attachments – Jazzed Media JM 1063, 64:16 [8/13/13] ****: 

(Lorraine Feather – vocals; Russell Ferrante – piano 1/2/4/5/8/9/11; Shelly Berg – piano 6/7/10; Dave Grusin – piano/arranger 3/12; Michael Valerio – bass 1/2/4/5/7/8/9/11, vocals 5; Grant Geissman – guitar 1/5/9; Eddie Arkin – guitar 2/5; Michael Shapiro – drums, percussion 1/2/5/9/11; Tony Morales – percussion 1; Gregg Field – drums 7; Charles Bisharat – violin 1/2/4/8/9/11/12; Bob Mintzer – bass clarinet 11)

The word attachment has, among its various definitions the following: “an enduring emotional bond that develops between one adult and another in an intimate relationship”. It would appear this is what Lorraine Feather has in mind with her latest Jazzed Media release Attachments which, in the liner notes, she says is about connections to families, friends, lovers, animals and places.

With a pedigree that is musically informed—having a father (Leonard) who was a noted jazz critic and writer, a mother who was a big band singer and a former roommate of Peggy Lee and Billie Holiday as a godmother, Lorraine seemed to be destined to have music as part of her life. However none of that is a guarantee of talent, which fortunately, she also has in abundance. Although no ingénue, being in her sixty-fifth year, her voice belies her age.

It would be a stretch to consider this release a jazz album, it is more like a concept offering of self-revelatory poems and stories set to music. That is not a bad thing, just a clarification. Take for example the title track “Attachments” with the bitter-sweet lines ‘There was the love/Who left you for the love formerly known as/The love that dared not speak its name’. Even on a more personal note the composition “I Love You Guys” which pays homage to musicians and perhaps jazz musicians in particular, Feather offers the lines: ’I’ve dated a ton of you/Married one of you’, undoubtedly referring to her husband percussionist Tony Morales. Adding to the sparkle of the album is the sympathetic accompaniment provided by the band with the likes of pianists Russell Ferrante, Shelly Berg and Dave Grusin, guitarist Grant Geissman and violinist Charles Bisharat who’s playing is especially suggestive and authoritative as related to the stories being conveyed.

For the uninitiated, listening to this album is no easy task as the lyrics and not generally in iambic pentameter and there are only a few rhyming couplets, thus the listener needs to really pay attention. But perseverance pays off as the lyrics explore life stories which are offered in a most compelling way. [You may even want to also get some of her previous many albums, such as this one we reviewed last year…Ed.]

TrackList: A Little Like This; Attachments; I Thought You Did; Anna Lee; 159; We Have The Stars; I Love You Guys; I Hope I Never Leave This Place; Hearing Things; The Veil; Smitten With You; True

—Pierre Giroux

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