Patricia Barber – Mythologies – Blue Note

by | Oct 19, 2006 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Patricia Barber – Mythologies – Blue Note 59564 2 9, 58:56 ***:

The highly intellectual jazz vocalist of the half-whispered delivery certainly deserves praise for her courage in tackling such a major creative effort.  Of course she could afford to stick her neck out and take her time getting this song cycle together because the project had some Guggenheim funding.  The idea is a modern take on Ovid’s Metamorphoses in 11 songs. We don’t get to hear much of Barber’s admitted prowess at the piano, but she brings in several other vocalists, a children’s choir, a saxist to add to her quartet with guitar, and even a hip-hop performer on one song.

The whole thing is rather chilling to my mind – unrequited love, betrayal, the Gods get even – that sort of thing. Seems to enjoy being cool and pissed. But Barber has her fans, and if this disc isn’t too wild for them, I’m sure it will soon be part of their Barber collections. 

Tracks: The Moon, Morpheus, Pygmalion, Hunger, Icarus, Orpheus/Sonnet, Persephone, Narcissus, Whiteworld/Oedipus, Phaeton, The Hours.

 – John Henry

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