Interview for allaboutjazz by Nicholas F. Mondello
An interview on the website AllAboutJazz. Read the full article here>
By its very title, Language, from singer and lyricist Lorraine Feather, implies that Feather and company believe that they have the musical and linguistic chops to take on such a sophisticated concept for our entertainment. So it’s good to find that Feather is a heavyweight who—with a championship caliber crew in her corner—delivers a resounding KO.
To some ears, story songs—word-intense tunes—may seem overly Broadwayesque and theatrical. Sometimes such songs shade goofy into gimmick novelty. Where’s the balance? Is it words or melodies? Do we have complex, witty turns of a phrase over boring melodic and rhythmic drones? Or the other thing? Compare out-of-balance word-intense tunes with a grail like “Lush Life.”
Happily, no such conflict arises on this entertaining and thoughtful album. From the stop-and-pulse, streetbeat start of “Traffic and Weather,” Feather and her band demonstrate that they’re going for something unique. Language is a marvelous mix of sharp, thoughtful verbiage, edgy melodies, quirky rhythms and superior musicianship.