Archive for the Jeanne LEE Category

Jeanne LEE – Conspiracy 1974

Posted in JAZZ, Jeanne LEE on December 10, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Jeanne LEE – Conspiracy 1974
ER 814


Great revolutionary jazz singing , Jeanne Lee went even beyond that made certain emotional vertigo Patty Waters one of the most moving experience and strong creative matrix of the vocal jazz .

York January 29 , 1939 , Jeanne began to study dance at Bard College where he met Ran BlakeDestined to become one of the most popular pianists of the current ” third stream music ” that flourished around 1955 on the initiative of Gunther SchullerTended toward a language of synthesis between jazz and European classical music . With Blake , Lee formed a duo that produced the albums of absolute thickness ( among which “The Newest Sound Around”). The use of white space and sounds left to drift and an incredibly versatile voice and deeply visceral makes their duets one of the highest experiences of the jazz of the early sixties.

In 1964 , in California, they met Ian Underwood David Hazelton and the poet , with whom he sketched some collaborations . The most important meeting , however, after the one with Blake, is the one with the German vibraphonist Gunter Hampel with whom he recorded over 20 records, some of which will remain in time as absolute gems of the period. Initially engaged in a meaningful song , but ultimately, still largely conventional, Lee began to evolve a distinctive version of a very particular musical vocabulary , made up of vocalizations that mute , moving from one node to the “standard” , were gradually undergoing a process of abstraction, repeated and modulated voice with a clear sense of the joint .

This peak came his way with his first recording as a “soloist . ” E ‘ 1974 and ” Conspiracy ” comes like a bolt from the blue , dominating from the start as one of the great masterpieces of the jazz of the seventies. An empty space made of primal scream (but imploded ) that refer to Billie Holiday and excellent technique that make it a live issue even Sarah Vaughan. Arranged as a pagan ritual, her voice around the instruments are gathering now determined to do now with calm emotion.

” No words / only a feeling … no questions / light not only on sequences and only a / Being no journey / only to dance “. With these lines ( taken from a poem David Hazelton, her first husband ) the warm and charming voice of Lee opens the crooked dance free of ” Sundance ” , musically constructed around the tread of the bass and all”incrociarsi diagonal of the flute and soprano sax Hampel Rivers. Scatter rapid and uninhibited freedom of a heady , solidly perched on a dance step , to remain faithful to the earth, despite the star ahead. The poem ‘s meaning expanded beyond the game with a voice made of heights and relapses, and warbling nonsense .

” Yeh T’Be How “free speech hallucinations in a vacuum attacked by reflections and blurred hiss . Geometries irrational for solo voice . Dissemination of howling and wailing that makes it even more appalling silence and its surface rough , rough , cold dense. Aphasia is one of a cosmos that desertified and absence radical protester , incontrovertible , transcendent. Language reduced to a desperate prayer , on their way to make contact with the things that is thanks. In ” Jamaica ” , the words to do with choreography collect the loss of the tools that interact in a distracted and then, gradually , more and more structured . The second part is thematically related to the dancing of ” Sundance ” .

In the subsequent “Subway Couple , ” an effect of ” echoing “keeps the voice in a state of detachment from the swirling kaleidoscopic progression of an atonal free- jazz related to the furious piano excursions of Cecil Taylor. E ‘ apotheosis of freedom filiform , irrational , uncontrollable . turbulence Jagged piano ( Hampel ) , chilling screams and incendiary ( a crazy Sam Rivers and ” Ayler ” tenor sax ) , openess and systematically dissolved (the axis rhythmic Gregg / McCall) . An overall feeling of bewilderment and exhilaration. The free- jazz in the making and unmaking his emotions.

The subsequent “The Miracle Is You “is pure recited: essential dry. What more surprising in these lied annihilation is the sense of depth and nudity that takes the sound before the threatening presence of natural and almost – empty silence. If the magma emotional ramifications of his style are more fascinating developments in “Your Ballad ” fanfare resigned and melancholy , “Angel Chile ” provides an ‘ incredible crushing words , syllables, guttural sounds , breaths (Meredith Monk and Joan La Barbara are also in these grooves ). Again , it is the clash between sound and silence that voice – is erected an imaginary scenario of the soul , which collects the meaning “poetic “of disparate sensations (anxiety , horror , joy, disappointment ) by layering logs and apparently confluent styles to a single vanishing point, but in fact ready , each for his part , to follow your own. The final title track repeats this recital of the break , but to support him there are a shimmering vibraphone , wind whistling solo descent , flat fading , in a crunch continues. A jazz that has become very creative visionary (Sam Rivers and Gunter Hampel who share the task of gl ports to tradition, at that time already well -established ‘avant -jazz, synthesizing sounds and solutions both American and European ) in relation to the extraordinary ability of a single singer , able to deepen and suggests, as in the successive stages of its development , changes in harmonic , structural and emotional depth of a sound is a voice and a voice that is sound.

Yet , despite its evocative power and its spiritual charge half – time , ” Conspiracy ” still remains a forgotten masterpiece.
By Rake.
The miracle is… that the layers continue
to be stripped away each time uncov’ring
a center more brilliant and revealing
than the one before.

Amazing… that this should be the way
our love our knowledge and our lives
leaving us constantly renewed.

Knowing you exist anywhere in this universe
makes my world that much larger
and that much more filled
with light
Written By- Hazelton* (tracks: A1) , Hampel* (tracks: A4, B2, B4) , Gregg* (tracks: A3, A4, B4) , Lee* (tracks: A1 to A4, B1, B3, B4) , Rivers* (tracks: A4, B4) , McCall* (tracks: A4, B4)
Bass- Jack Gregg
Clarinet- Allan Praskin (tracks: B2) , Perry Robinson (tracks: B2)
Alto Clarinet- Mark Whitecage (tracks: B2)
Flute, Piano, Vibraphone, Alto and Bass Clarinet- Gunter Hampel
Soprano, Tenor Sax, Flute- Sam Rivers
Trombone- Marty Cook (tracks: B2)
Drums- Steve McCall
Side A:
A1. Sundance   4:43
A2. Yeh Come t’be   7:06
A3. Jamaica   6:09
A4. Subway Couple   2:57

Side B:
B1. The Miracle Is   2:14
B2. Your Ballad   6:39
B3. Angel Chile   6:53
B4. Conspiracy   11:40

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Jeanne LEE & Mal WALDRON – After Hours 1994

Posted in JAZZ, Jeanne LEE, Mal WALDRON on November 30, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Jeanne LEE & Mal WALDRON – After Hours 1994
Recorded at Acousti Studio, Paris, France on May 25-26, 1994.


This CD is a bit of a surprise, a standards session featuring the usually-adventurous singer Jeanne Lee. The set of duets with pianist Mal Waldron are all taken at very relaxed tempoes with only I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart swinging above a slow-medium pace. Lee mostly emphasizes the lyrics, just scatting sparingly on most tunes (although Fire Waltz is totally wordless). Waldron’s accompaniment is typically rhythmic, creatively repetitive, brooding and personal. However it is Lee’s haunting and highly expressive voice that really sticks in one’s memory. ”
Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
Like too many utterly original and fearless jazz artists, Jeanne Lee’s audience and reputation seems to reside more within the community of musicians than listeners. Despite remarkable classic recordings with Archie Shepp, Anthony Braxton, Carla Bley, Andrew Cyrille, Billy Bang, William Parker, Steve Coleman, and of course, Gunter Hampel, Lee has never received the notoriety due a musician with such an impressive resume. Her naked alto, broad interpretive skills, improvisational gifts, and choice of material left her with few peers among vocalists of her generation, Leon Thomas being one candidate. Although a recent review characterized Lee’s voice itself as an “acquired taste,” the above list suggests that more sensitive ears had no such difficulty.
Waldron brings an equally impressive past, having worked with Shepp, Dolphy, Mingus, and Abbey Lincoln, along with his legendary tenure with Billie Holiday. In the late ‘50’s he was musical director for Prestige Records, and he wrote now-classic compositions, some of which appear here.
Waldron recorded a few albums with Lee in the nineties, including After Hours, reissued by Owl/Sunnyside. Recorded in two days, this session features standards and timeless gems rendered with love by two old pros. Their collaboration results in a warm intimacy with the material and each other’s style.
Opening with Ellington’s “Caravan,” the duo simmer the jump out of it, boosting the sensuality until the desert rendezvous becomes a spiritual antecedent to “Midnight at the Oasis.” Waldron’s faultlessly precise minimalism cultivates the tension, and Lee’s timbre, through her improvs and interpretation, amplifies the heat. “You Go to My Head” has the vocalist’s elastic phrasing easily matched by Waldron’s flexibility. His solo manipulates silence and space as much as the piano. Rogers & Hart’s “I Could Write a Book” captures the carefree feel of the tune, with Lee’s solo sounding as natural and personal as humming on a stroll.
In selecting Mingus’ “Goodbye Porkpie Hat,” Lee wisely eschews the more famous Joni Mitchell lyric for Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s more definitive version. Waldron creates little miracles with his chords, exploring the mournfulness while composing unforeseen transitions. Likewise, Lee takes dramatic liberties with the melody. Compressed within a little over three minutes, it’s as chill-inducing as the first time you heard Mingus play it.
Lee toasts the pianist with two of his own, first with “Straight Ahead,” using Abbey Lincoln’s lyrics. She leaves lyrics behind all together on the familiar “Fire Waltz.” A standard in Dolphy’s repertoire, the tune finds Lee playful, with Waldron insistent and rhythmic. On Ellington’s “I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart,” she sounds like she’s singing through a smile. Again, her variations of time and texture find a willing accomplice in Waldron.
The closing bittersweet version of Cole Porter’s “Everytime We Say Goodbye” reminds us of the loss of both these giants in the last few years. With so much of Lee’s catalogue hard to find these days, this straightforward love letter to some favorite old songs is a welcome release.
By Rex Butters.
Jeanne Lee- Vocals
Mal Waldron- Piano
The Music
01. Caravan (Ellington, Mills, Tizol) 7:28
02. You Go to My Head (Coots, Gillespie) 7:07
03. I Could Write a Book (Hart, Rodgers) 4:03
04. Goodbye Pork-Pie Hat (Kirk, Mingus) 3:24
05. Straight Ahead (Baker, Lincoln, Waldron) 3:17
06. Fire Waltz (Waldron) 7:21
07. I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart (Ellington, Mills, Nemo, Redmond) 4:30
08. Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye (Porter) 5:10

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