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Originally named for a Rufus Wainwright song, it was perhaps inevitable that Vicious World would eventually devote an entire album to this underrated contemporary singer-songwriter. That doesn't make the prospect any less daunting, considering the sharp turns and blind alleys associated with Wainwright's deeply idiosyncratic style.
But Vicious World, a septet co-led by saxophonist Aaron Irwin and trombonist Matthew McDonald, matches the music's mysterious melodicism with an expanded lineup that also includes lush textures from violinist Eliza Cho and cellist Maria Jeffersnotably on the elegiac Memphis Skyline." Their interesting reimaging of 11 Wainwright songs, recorded in South Philly, is set for release today from Spinaround Records.
It's an album of lasting depth, filled with both poignant pauses and plenty of swingno small surprise. Going to a Town," you realize, has a structure not that all different from the standard Autumn Leaves." Other times, Plays rocks a little: Guitarist Sebastian Noellewho along with bassist Thomson Kneeland is part of the well-regarded Aaron Irwin Group, embedded belowrips off a jagged guitar signature to This Love Affair," adding a gnarled danger to Vicious World's stomping second-line beat. Drummer Danny Fischer then amps that rat-a-tat rhythm up to a baroquely militaristic fever pitch on Matinee Idol."
Then, there are these sensitive arrangements from Irwin, also featured on clarinet and flute here. That's perhaps best heard on Dinner at Eight," a swirling delight. (Irwin handled the charts on seven of the tunes here; McDonald arranged the rest.) McDonald, who has appeared with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Ken Peplowski, is particularly expressive on Natasha," a lithe bit of romanticism.
Taken together, Play the Music of Rufus Wainwright ends up as an intriguingly complex amalgamone part unrequited love poem, one part swinging chamber jazz, one part contemporary classical ensemble. And really, unlike anything I've heard before.
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com