PATRCIA BARBER, SMASH

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There’s no doubting the iconoclast badge that the singular artist, singer and composer, pianist Patricia Barber proudly wears. A Chicago native whose first two albums made her an international jazz star, Barber straddles musical styles as well as her own inventive song forms to create “Smash” (Concord Jazz) a genre-busting album of astonishing creativity. Her original songs vibrate with sophistication and keen truth:
"Scream
when Sunday
finally comes
and God
isn’t there
 *
Scream
the soldier
has his gun
and the war
isn’t where
we thought it would be."

She leads a superior band (guitarist John Kregor, bassist Larry Kohut, drummer Jon Deitemyer) and accompanies herself on piano – her intro on the instrumental ”Bashful” is eloquent and haunting until the tune is carried away on a rhythmic wave and catches fire. And like her previous recordings, “Smash” has audiophile cachet thanks to being recorded and mixed by engineer Jim Anderson, Barber’s equal partner in sound. These songs are urgent (“Code Cool,”) dreamy (“Romanesque”) and sweetly enthralling (“Spring Song,”) while a tune like “Redshift” has echoes under its bossa nova beat of a brainier Michael Frank’s tune.  “Smash” is Barber’s debut recording with Concord Jazz following her many years on the Blue Note label, and it’s a captivating sonic and emotional experience. Barber’s work effectively aims for a transcendent experience as vital as anything being currently produced in the alt-rock, and her embrace of pop and rock melts seamlessly into her one-of-a-kind jazz language. “Smash” is resoundingly adult, intelligent and best of all, musically absorbing. (12 tracks; 53:16 minutes)  www.patriciabarber.com

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JAZZ IN SPACE: PATRCIA BARBER, SMASH

Friday, January 25, 2013

PATRCIA BARBER, SMASH

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There’s no doubting the iconoclast badge that the singular artist, singer and composer, pianist Patricia Barber proudly wears. A Chicago native whose first two albums made her an international jazz star, Barber straddles musical styles as well as her own inventive song forms to create “Smash” (Concord Jazz) a genre-busting album of astonishing creativity. Her original songs vibrate with sophistication and keen truth:
"Scream
when Sunday
finally comes
and God
isn’t there
 *
Scream
the soldier
has his gun
and the war
isn’t where
we thought it would be."

She leads a superior band (guitarist John Kregor, bassist Larry Kohut, drummer Jon Deitemyer) and accompanies herself on piano – her intro on the instrumental ”Bashful” is eloquent and haunting until the tune is carried away on a rhythmic wave and catches fire. And like her previous recordings, “Smash” has audiophile cachet thanks to being recorded and mixed by engineer Jim Anderson, Barber’s equal partner in sound. These songs are urgent (“Code Cool,”) dreamy (“Romanesque”) and sweetly enthralling (“Spring Song,”) while a tune like “Redshift” has echoes under its bossa nova beat of a brainier Michael Frank’s tune.  “Smash” is Barber’s debut recording with Concord Jazz following her many years on the Blue Note label, and it’s a captivating sonic and emotional experience. Barber’s work effectively aims for a transcendent experience as vital as anything being currently produced in the alt-rock, and her embrace of pop and rock melts seamlessly into her one-of-a-kind jazz language. “Smash” is resoundingly adult, intelligent and best of all, musically absorbing. (12 tracks; 53:16 minutes)  www.patriciabarber.com

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