Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nouveau Stride, Fourteen, Lorraine Feather and Stephanie Trick

Nouveau Stride, aka Lorraine Feather and Stephanie Trick, had a great idea and they've made it work. Without a stitch of pretentiousness, they've taken some stride classics as written and played by the masters-- James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, and combined enthusiastic, swinging stride piano recreations with vocals that sport creative home-made, present-day lyrics.

Their CD Fourteen (ReLarian 1414) puts it all together and it's a joyous album indeed. Here's this slip of a young lady, Ms. Trick, playing stride with the swing and heft of the original masters. And here's Lorraine Feather writing mostly funny, always appropriate lyrics and singing with dead-on musicality, perfect feel, great swing, pitch ever-right, rhythmic and otherwise phrasing impeccability, and a very appealing voice quality.

I grew up on stride from a very early age on, thanks to my father's record collection, and it has always occupied a special place in my heart. So in me Nouveau Stride perhaps has an ideal audience. Since I know the music though I suppose I am also rather critical. In both senses Fourteen won me over almost immediately.

There are a few originals and they are fine. And they stomp out on a boogie-woogie like they were THERE. With their good humor and directed abandon the duo could probably take on the Teddy Bear's Picnic and stride the heck out of it. I suppose it's better that they didn't but you get the idea.

As it is, it is a thrill to hear great Johnson and Waller extended in ways that will I hope keep the music alive for a long time. Ms. Trick is a piano dynamo; Ms. Feather is a warbling songbird with great humor and a real feel for the period. Put the two together and give them fourteen chances to get you rolling, they not only succeed...they triumph. Bravo! Huzzah! If I had a rent party they would be the only choice, if they would deign to come. Yes, sir!


  1. Thank you, Grego! My stride sister and I were delighted by your review, and would be happy to play your rent party any old time.

  2. Haha that's great Lorraine. You two put a great big smile on my face! Now I'll just have to get those big ole jugs of whatever they drank and invite everybody. And hats...must have hats!

  3. That means a lot, L! Now to find some friendly neighbors with filled pockets and the urge to cut a rug--perhaps more of a challenge nowadays than in ye olde times!