5 February 2009

Jeanne Lee in New York 1988

I've been plainly delighted to see so many Jeanne Lee postings on this blog lately, so what else to do but to top it with yet another Jeanne Lee performance? This concert is nothing less than marvellous imho and here she is joined by a stellar crew as follows:

Jeanne Lee: voice
Milène Bey voice (tracks 3-5-6-7)
Mark Whitecage: as, fl, sound sculptures
Gunter Hampel: bar-sax, vibes, fl
Reggie Workman: b
Andrew Cyrille: dr

The tunes:

1. The Subway Couple [Lee] 06:52
2. Untitled ("Bruckner Boulevard") [Lee] 06:19
3. News Watch [aka "Dandelion Wine") [Robinson/Lee] 10:31
4. I like your style (voc/b/d only) [Bues/Lee] 04:31
5. untitled? ("No matter where you go...") [Bey] 04:56
6. Serenade for Marion Brown [Hampel/Lee] 17:28
7. Sun Dance [Lee] 10:14

Most of these tunes are what Jeanne Lee call "tone poems", at times mundane stories and events, even news items, set to jazz rhythms. Roped in here is the exquisite rhythm section of Reggie Workmnan and Andrew Cyrille who deliver a strong groove behind Jeanne's vocal improvisations. An added bonus of great significance is Milène Bey (see pic above), French of Martinique extraction, who followed a career in dance and music in NY in the 80s until she returned to her native Martinique in the mid-90s. She penned the fifth tune, performed in French, quite a tricky one, which Jeanne Lee doesn't quite get the hang of. Probably, with the benefit of hindsight, it would have been better to let Bey take the lead, but never mind.

My particular favourite is the 10-minute "News Watch" where Bey is joined by Bey providing a fine vocal counterpoint and with Workman right behind with some very expressive bass work and Cyrille plying the sticks lightly and elegantly. But all tunes are fine and on the final one, Bey gets to let loose on some daring vocalisations.

Jeanne Lee died in 2000 from cancer which would have been treated had she been able to afford medical insurance which she could not. Money makes the world go around, doesn't it? She would have been seventy on 29 January 2009 (so a belated 70th anniversary commemoration to her). History would have it that Milène Bey were to succumb to cancer in 2006 on Martinique.

Upped by ........... so a tip of the hat for that. This one goes out both in flac and mp3. I would advise downloaders to get the flacs, even if it may take a bit longer. Superb sound throughout. Pic of Jeanne Lee courtesy of Amir Bey who also happened to be Milène Bey's husband until their separation and her return to Martinique. Check out the fine web site at http://thenewtimesholler.com/index.html.


kinabalu said...

iPod verzion:


audio freekz verzion:






plato said...

no words ........... only a feeling...
no questions ....... only a light
no sequence ........ only a being
no journey ......... only a dance

Wallofsound said...

Many thanks, kinabalu. I only came to hear JL through her albums with Ran Blake, which I discovered a few years ago. I've not come across this one, so I'm very much looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

great! thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this. This recording is so beautiful. Keep up the good work. I am about to move to India and it's good to know that I'll have somewhere to go for good jazz, and you are also helping me come to term with selling all of my vinyl to fund the move. Thank you again.

peskypesky said...

i can't remember if i already commented on this, but i'll go ahead anyway. thank you so much for introducing me to this fantastic singer and musician. i had never heard of Jeanne Lee before today, but now that i have, she has almost instantly become one of my favorite singers....and i am sad to find out that she has already passed away before i ever got to see her perform live.

anyway, she is amazing. such a great voice and so uniquely creative. a true talent who who deserves much more recognition.

Jakyjan said...

hello kinabalu
i can't access the files... i would like to listen for i am doing research on her music, and trying to gather all the music i can
thanks a lot
it's a great bowl of fresh air your blog
my adress is claremoss@free.fr

kinabalu said...

They are accessible. I just did a check and it worked, so please try again.

Jakyjan said...

thank you kinabalu, it worked (sorry for the trouble).
How do you know about the word "tone poems"? I'm interested because jeanne lee would see music, dance and poetry as a whole, and she also mentions the "oral-kinetic" tradition in articles i read.
thanks if time allows

Anonymous said...

Kinabalu, thanks for this; wonderful to find a still functioning link. I've passed this one by many times while looking for Gunter Hampel and I don't know just why. But not today! Any new Hampel posts on the way?


kinabalu said...

Oh yes, definetely once I start exploring the archives. But they would be "old" rather than "new."

Andy said...

Just to say that I'v spent about all day playing this over and over, and it gets better and better. Appreciation. :)

mew23 said...

New link

JazzHound said...

This is brilliant! Thank you so much for reposting this!

Le Cuisinier said...

Thanks for the new link & the great music!