[JPL] Satirical Songs of Noncommitted Lovers and Nonhuman Voices

r durfee rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 11 21:04:34 EST 2008

February 8, 2008
Music Review | Lorraine Feather
Satirical Songs of Noncommitted Lovers and Nonhuman
Automated voices that fail to reassure as you wait
impatiently to be connected to customer-service
representatives; the hyperbolic argot of
sportscasters; graying male movie stars romantically
teamed with babes less than half their age: all these
and more are twitted in the amusing, fast-paced lyrics
of Lorraine Feather. 

Ms. Feather, who is singing through Saturday at the
Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, is the daughter of
the jazz journalist and musician Leonard Feather (who
died in 1994) and has an acute knowledge of jazz
history. What lends her zany observations a historical
dimension is that many of her lyrics are settings of
tunes by Fats Waller and Duke Ellington. These songs
are cheerful tugs of war between the past (the idiom
of buoyant stride piano) and the present
(relationships with commitment issues). 

Other originals she performed on Wednesday were
collaborations with contemporaries who include Shelly
Berg, her fluent, hyperkinetic pianist (Jay Leonhart
plays bass during this engagement), Russell Ferrante,
Eddie Arkin, and Bill Elliott. 

In her cleverest lyrics Ms. Feather’s patter, sung
with a conversational ease, suggests Dave Frishberg in
double time mixed with the antic playfulness of Jon
Hendricks. Until you’ve heard Ms. Feather deliver her
funny sports commentary, “Hit the Ground Runnin’,”
with a tune by Mr. Ferrante (of the Yellowjackets) you
may not have realized how terms like “nail-biter” and
“saddled with injuries” constitute a clichéd language
unto itself.

The light satire often veers into the personal. The
narrator of “Antarctica,” a portrait of boredom on a
remote outpost frets about having driven away her

Crustaceous lichens are
Not on my mind quite as often
Ooh, you thought me frosty, but
I was beginning to soften.
The pacifying automated phone voice in “We Appreciate
Your Patience” becomes a surreal stand-in for
uncommitted men, announcing: 
I’m not another
Coldly uncaring Lothario
Like the rest of your boyfriends.
I appreciate your patience.
Of course there’s no flesh-and-blood person at the
other end.

Lorraine Feather appears through Saturday at the Oak
Room, Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th Street, Manhattan,
(212) 419-9331, algonquinhotel.com.


Roy Durfee
P.O. Box 40219
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87196-0219
rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com

Be a better friend, newshound, and 
know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile.  Try it now.  http://mobile.yahoo.com/;_ylt=Ahu06i62sR8HDtDypao8Wcj9tAcJ 

More information about the jazzproglist mailing list