MADELEINE PEYROUX, STANDING ON THE ROOFTOP

By now, the singer with the beguiling voice, Madeleine Peyroux, needs no introduction. Her 2004 breakthrough album, “Careless Love” and follow-up, “Half The Perfect World” (2006) solidified her popularity with tunes that resonated on an honest emotional level and were vividly realized by well-respected jazz musicians.

Grounded in the roots tradition, “Standing On The Roof” (Emarcy/Decca Records) maintains the spirit of her previous recordings but reliably casts Peyroux as a pop rather than jazz singer, something that’s probably by design and long overdue. Her talent effortlessly bridges both genres and while it’s nearly a cliché to compare her unique voice to Billie Holiday’s, she remains a highly individualistic performer. Working here with producer Craig Street (Norah Jones, k.d. lang), the guitar-driven recording maintains the singer’s preference for pristine sound and warm production values. Notably, Peyroux and Street’s team includes bassist Me’shell Ndegeocello, guitarists Marc Ribot and Christopher Bruce, violinist Jenny Scheinman and New Orleans pianist Allen Toussaint. That’s a potent team, some of who collaborated closely with the singer, co-writing originals like an easy, loping “The Things I’ve Seen Today” and the percussive thrum on the hypnotic title track, which is a better fit with Peyroux’s voice than some of her previous, jazzier turns.

Many of the tunes are nuggets of pop perfection, like Bob Dylan’s “I Threw It All Away,” “Don’t Pick A Fight With A Poet” and “Meet Me In Rio,” a track that blooms with spacey funk. The album ends on a lovely grace note that is “The Way Of All Things” where Peyroux sings of “hopes that play jokes and have their sting,” but her attitude shines with optimism as if she’s singing in a beam of sunlight. (12 tracks; 47:42 minutes) 

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JAZZ IN SPACE: MADELEINE PEYROUX, STANDING ON THE ROOFTOP

Sunday, September 11, 2011

MADELEINE PEYROUX, STANDING ON THE ROOFTOP

By now, the singer with the beguiling voice, Madeleine Peyroux, needs no introduction. Her 2004 breakthrough album, “Careless Love” and follow-up, “Half The Perfect World” (2006) solidified her popularity with tunes that resonated on an honest emotional level and were vividly realized by well-respected jazz musicians.

Grounded in the roots tradition, “Standing On The Roof” (Emarcy/Decca Records) maintains the spirit of her previous recordings but reliably casts Peyroux as a pop rather than jazz singer, something that’s probably by design and long overdue. Her talent effortlessly bridges both genres and while it’s nearly a cliché to compare her unique voice to Billie Holiday’s, she remains a highly individualistic performer. Working here with producer Craig Street (Norah Jones, k.d. lang), the guitar-driven recording maintains the singer’s preference for pristine sound and warm production values. Notably, Peyroux and Street’s team includes bassist Me’shell Ndegeocello, guitarists Marc Ribot and Christopher Bruce, violinist Jenny Scheinman and New Orleans pianist Allen Toussaint. That’s a potent team, some of who collaborated closely with the singer, co-writing originals like an easy, loping “The Things I’ve Seen Today” and the percussive thrum on the hypnotic title track, which is a better fit with Peyroux’s voice than some of her previous, jazzier turns.

Many of the tunes are nuggets of pop perfection, like Bob Dylan’s “I Threw It All Away,” “Don’t Pick A Fight With A Poet” and “Meet Me In Rio,” a track that blooms with spacey funk. The album ends on a lovely grace note that is “The Way Of All Things” where Peyroux sings of “hopes that play jokes and have their sting,” but her attitude shines with optimism as if she’s singing in a beam of sunlight. (12 tracks; 47:42 minutes) 

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