Fay Victor Ensemble The Freesong Suite

Fay Victor Ensemble The Freesong Suite
The art of the jazz vocalist has gone down the path of stylistic, and even musical, monotony. The number of "jazz vocalists" in circulation at the moment that aspire beyond the status of ornament is very, very low and one sometimes despairs that the examples of Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan have been relegated to the ranks of pale imitators, as opposed to the singers that have taken the cue to innovate and pushed things to the next level. Fortunately we have Fay Victor. While the debt to Betty Carter is striking, the fact that Victor has the courage to even look at those virtuosic and conceptually challenging shoes, much less step into them, indicates more than promise. She has the chops, the phrasing, the band and the courage to make contemporary music that references contemporary culture and materials that range from Carter to Berberian to Sun Ra to Hendrix. This is sheer, unadulterated brilliance. Buy it! (Independent)