Fay Victor, Anders Nilsson, and Fred Lonberg-Holm | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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Fay Victor, Anders Nilsson, and Fred Lonberg-Holm The List (Music) Soundboard

When: Fri., April 9, 9:30 p.m. 2010
Price: $15
The Freesong Suite (Greene Ave Music), the latest album by New York vocalist Fay Victor, genuinely surprised me: as soon as I thought I had a handle on its style, the next track would do something else. Victor's rich, creamy voice reminds me of heavy hitters like Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln, and Jeanne Lee, and like them she's restlessly creative, carving out her own unpredictable path. Early in The Freesong Suite she sets a strikingly intimate tone, using wordless, restrained improvisation that's only very loosely framed by nubby bass lines and meandering guitar notes. But by the third track, "Bob and Weave," her group has fallen into a bluesy groove and she's singing a clear narrative. On subsequent cuts she taps into rock, free jazz, and other styles, but no matter what's happening around her she's always a highly communicative singer. Her original material has an ingrained storytelling quality that comes through even when the music is relatively abstract—"Joe's Car" is a you-can't-go-home-again song, and "Gone Fishing" is quite literally about a fishing trip. Victor is traveling with her regular guitarist, the resourceful Swede Anders Nilsson when they play with Tim Daisy. See also Thursday at Elastic. —Peter Margasak

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