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the Fay Victor Ensemble

The FreeSong Suite

(Greene Avenue; US: 22 Sep 2009; UK: 21 Sep 2009)

Fay Victor’s second recording of original material, The FreeSong Suite, peers into the NYC-based vocalist’s challenging and rewarding world of captivating vocal work and stirring spontaneity.  Ripping through the sutures of established song forms and structures, Victor and her exceptional band at points come across like a well-oiled machine. At others, it seems to completely unravel when taking a tune, dicing it up, and stitching it back together. “Bob and Weave” oscillates between ominous, fractured free-associative passages and tight, groove-oriented instrumental interludes, and the gentle, bluesy, and mellow sway of “Night Ties” emerges at the end of the first of three long-form compositional sections that make up the disc, emitting a sigh of relief after the scarred selections preceding it. The remainder of the Suite is as grating and jarring as it is refreshing, further augmenting Victor’s status as a musician and composer who is rewriting the rules of vocal jazz.

Rating:

It's been said that jazz was born in New Orleans and it grew up in Kansas City. That's where I grew up too, learning to love the sounds of the city's storied past. Now I'm on a mission to unearth what I haven't heard.


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