When I tell you Ms. Feather's good buds with cool, swingin', crazy cat Dave Frishberg and also inducted Grant Geissman on guitar, you'll have all you need to get the first idea about Ages, especially in the be-boppin' opener, A Lot to Remember, swingin' the sixes about, well, everything under the sun, including Grammar. Yep, expect the unexpected in this singer, always dosed with the wry and offbeat, as in I Forgot to Have Children, asking herself hilariously "How did I forget it? How did I *forget* it?!?!".
Three esteemed pianists open a window onto the disc: Russ Ferrante, Shelley Berg, and Dick Hyman, not only tickling the ivories but arranging the near-entirety of the capering cuts. Missing neither beat, bust-up, nor arcing beauty (Old at 18 / Dog Bowl), they tailor the assemblage to perfectly, often loopily, catch every least nuance in Feather's vocal pyrotechnics and elongated sultriness. And, believe me, she's richly deserving of the attention, as lithe and note perfect as any chanteuse you care to name, vastly more imbued with boundless élan than most, brimming over with shafts of light, energy, and wit.
But, as that last virtue indicates, musical integrity and compositional intrigue aren't all the lady has to offer. Her lyrics are striking, warm-hearted, more than once strange while familiarly obtuse, and from angles most writers never find themselves able to access. You'll grin, pine, reminisce, and frequently discover yourself wide-eyed that anyone could frame each chosen subject in such terms. More, every song is co-written by her…even Mendelssohn's Perugia. Don't ask me how. I wondered why we hadn't heard from the guy for so long, but Lorraine brought him out of retirement! Geez, what more could ya ask?
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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