A chip off the old block, Feather is the daughter of critic/producer Leonard Feather. She’s at ease within her musical skin, singing her deceptively light, fresh lyrics to swing era chestnuts with delicacy, fluency and sly fun. Tongue-in-cheek? You betcha, but deliciously savvy. Listen to Feather tell charming, hilarious tales as tiny tots in pink tutus tiptoe at ballet school (“Remembering to Breathe”). She also brags about her subway skills, or recalls in tango a fleeting seaside romance. Meticulous charts and Feather’s pinpoint execution nudge these gems beyond novelty, urging later listenings.
Ever since the 2001 release of her Fats Waller-themed New York City Drag, Lorraine Feather has remained the traffic cop at the intersection of uninhibited inspiration and joyous musical fun. Indeed, after last year’s brilliant sojourn through Ellingtonia with the dazzling Such Sweet Thunder, it’s hard to imagine Feather outdoing the creative voodoo she’s summoned thus far. Hard, that is, until you wade into Dooji Wooji (Sanctuary) and hear her conjure a dozen new magical flights of fancy…How can you not love the comically rhythmic roadmap that is her ‘I Know the Way to Brooklyn’ or be enchanted by the faux sophistication of her ‘On the Esplanade’ or luxuriate in the warm rays of her brilliance as she tucks every known Hawaiian musical cliche into her cheek as she transforms the Ellington title tune into ‘Sweet Honolulu?’ As Feather proves for the fourth time, she is the one-woman jazz equivalent of Extreme Makeover—a lyrical Ty Pennington tricked out in Dorothy Parker drag.