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
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.