Album #12, Jailhouse Doc With Holes In her Socks, is the first for the JCA's own label (JCA Recordings) and is dedicated to Paula Tatarunis (1962-2015), Katz's wife, who was a physician (among other jobs, spent 10 years working in a medium security prison) as well as an accomplished and published poet. Six of the 12 tracks feature her poems while one, "Like a Wind", sets the words of Sherwood Anderson to music (the piece has appeared on two previous releases). 10 tracks feature the septet Oddsong. Composed of vocalist Rebecca Shrimpton (her 7th recording with Katz), Helen Sherrah-Davies (violin), Vessela Stoyanova (marimba, vibraphone), and the saxophone quartet of Jim Hobbs (alto), Rick Stone (alto), Phil Scarf (tenor, soprano, and sopranino), and Melanie Howell Brooks (baritone), the ensemble plays a fascinating combination of Katz's pieces as well as one,"LLAP Libertango", which is based on Astor Piazzolla's "Libertango 1974" and arranged by Ms. Sherrah-Davies plus the opening "Prayer", which is a group improvisation.
"Jailhouse Doc With Holes In her Socks" is quite a project. Though it can be viewed as a memorial to Paula Tatarunis, the vitality of her words and how Darrell Katz frames them, creates melodies out of them, uses the voices of Rebecca Shrimpton and the musicians to enhance the poetry. The poet lives in her words while the composer gives the listener a gift of her "presence" and the ensembles makes us hear with fresh ears. Don't search for style (is it jazz or classical?), just listen and soak in the sounds.
For more information, go to www.darrellkatz.com. The composer and loving husband has also kept Ms. Tatarunis's blog alive. Go to paulashouseoftoast.blogspot.com and look at her images of nature (that's her images on the album jacket), read her words, get a feeling for her passions.
Here's the title track:
"Sedimental You" is a collection of seven compositions for seven musicians, an impressive ensemble that includes Nicole Mitchell (flutes), Marty Ehrlich (clarinets), David Morales Boroff (violin), Michael Dessen (trombone), Joshua White (piano), and Jim Black (drums, percussion). The album, issued in the fall of 2016, includes several pointedly "political" musical screes including the opening "Hobby Lobby Horse" and "TrumpinPutinStoopin"; the former is a rambling, loose-limbed, romp with impressive solos all around while the latter may remind some of the musical commentary Charles Mingus created in the 1950s and 60s, the instrumental voices - in this instance, the trombone - making the ridiculous sounds like the people in the song's title.
|San Diego Reader|
For more information, go to www.mark-dresser.com.
Here's the opening track: