So today I present to you a recording that the free folks may not expect, or the high boppers. Of course that matters little at the moment because I REALLY like this album. Now who could it be? Well you probably already glanced at the headline to this post so you know already. It's singer Lorraine Feather and her latest, Attachments (Jazzed Media 1063). You may recall that last April 18th I covered her with Stephanie Trick and their Nouveau Stride duo, which floored me.
So Lorraine is back in her solo guise. This isn't her first in that zone. I have not heard the others. Attachments needs no "before" however to motivate. It's a collection of songs to which she contributed the lyrics, some in collaboration with contemporary musicsmiths, others, like Bach, not. Ms. Feather sings very well, very very well, and so let's get that out of the way, though that is the point in many ways. She has dead-on pitch, great phrasing, and a charming individual sound to those pipes. OK?
But there's more here. Her lyrics are especially concerned with relationships and their complex ups and downs, loneliness and togetherness, sometimes combined in the same moment, and they are stunning. Somehow she combines the sensibilities of Annie Ross, Jon Hendricks and Joni Mitchell. Sad, funny, all kinds of poetic expressions come into play here, and they are combined with some beautiful musical song forms.
It's mostly a small combo, good players. Some of it is jazz in the up sense, sometimes its balladry, always there are twists and turns. "159," the title cut "Attachments," most all of it. These are definitive versions of really great songs. There are definite standard possibilities in many of the songs going forward, but they are so Lorraine that you feel you know her inner being after hearing it all.
I don't want to overstate it, but I am mightily impressed with this record. Great songs are very hard to come by today, as any listen to the Top 40 stations or even many Broadway shows will remind you forcibly. Attachments has real song crafting in the way it used to be and still can be. And Lorraine Feather sings them all with a musicality that cannot be ignored.