Companion [Bonus Track]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Cohen
Everything is fair game for pianist/vocalist/composer Patricia Barber. On the live COMPANION, Barber takes on Sonny and Cher's "The Beat Goes On," Bill Withers's "Use Me," and the Fleetwood Mac/Santana hit "Black Magic Woman," transforming each into a jazz-inspired vignette that tips its hat to its pop origins then moves blithely - and brazenly -- on. Other material is more jazz explicit: the dedicatory original "Like JT" is a tempo-changing instrumental inspired by the work of pianist Jacky Terrason that allows Barber to show off some fancy piano playing. "Let It Rain," "Touch of Trash" and "If This Isn't Jazz" are Baber opuses that display her talents for clever ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Cohen
Everything is fair game for pianist/vocalist/composer Patricia Barber. On the live COMPANION, Barber takes on Sonny and Cher's "The Beat Goes On," Bill Withers's "Use Me," and the Fleetwood Mac/Santana hit "Black Magic Woman," transforming each into a jazz-inspired vignette that tips its hat to its pop origins then moves blithely - and brazenly -- on. Other material is more jazz explicit: the dedicatory original "Like JT" is a tempo-changing instrumental inspired by the work of pianist Jacky Terrason that allows Barber to show off some fancy piano playing. "Let It Rain," "Touch of Trash" and "If This Isn't Jazz" are Baber opuses that display her talents for clever wordplay and engaging songform. With a voice that slyly slips its way into a lyric, Barber makes use of the potent power of understatement - hear her backdoor interpretation of Withers's normally high voltage "Use Me" or her mysterio-slinky take on "Black Magic Woman." For Barber the line between pop and jazz is getting thinner every day, and she couldn't be more pleased.
Barnes & Noble - David Cohen
Everything is fair game for pianist/vocalist/composer Patricia Barber. On the live COMPANION, Barber takes on Sonny and Cher's "The Beat Goes On," Bill Withers's "Use Me," and the Fleetwood Mac/Santana hit "Black Magic Woman," transforming each into a jazz-inspired vignette that tips its hat to its pop origins then moves blithely -- and brazenly -- on. Other material is more jazz- explicit: The dedicatory original "Like JT" is a tempo-changing instrumental inspired by the work of pianist Jacky Terrason that allows Barber to show off some fancy piano playing. "Let It Rain," "Touch of Trash" and "If This Isn't Jazz" are Barber opuses that display her talents for clever wordplay and engaging song form. With a voice that slyly slips its way into a lyric, Barber makes use of the potent power of understatement - hear her backdoor interpretation of Withers's normally high voltage "Use Me" or her mysterio-slinky take on "Black Magic Woman." For Barber the line between pop and jazz is getting thinner every day, and she couldn't be more pleased.
All Music Guide
Companion was recorded in a special three-night series of shows in July 1999 at Chicago's famed Green Mill jazz club -- an unusually short amount of time to produce a live album. To mine as much material as possible from those nights the performances were run more like recording sessions than live shows, with the crowd reverently hushed. Patricia Barber is in her element, and the only thing that seems to have suffered for the recording circumstances is the album's length -- at seven songs and 40 minutes, it walks the line between standard EP and full-length size. One surmises that it might have been longer had there been more album-quality material from the performances. Recalling the energy that was present on her critically worshipped Café Blue album, there is an ease and creativity on Companion that makes her fans' devotion understandable. Barber has been criticized for being a jazz singer in the loosest sense -- her style borrows heavily from R&B and she often covers pop songs Sonny Bono's "The Beat Goes On" is a sheer stylish delight, and her song "If This Isn't Jazz" answers that criticism with a thumb to the nose. What many critics fail to notice, however, is the strength of her musicianship. Sexism within the industry keeps many from seeing female jazz performers playing roles other than those of vocalists -- Barber's warm, breathy voice and creative phrasing are wonderful, for sure, but what really shines are her arrangements. With a talented band behind her, on Companion Barber has made magic with her compositions, her piano playing, and yes, her voice. Intended to be a companion to Modern Cool, this album of mostly previously unrecorded material serves as an excellent introduction to all of her work. [The 2003 edition of Companion

Companion was recorded in a special three-night series of shows in July 1999 at Chicago's famed Green Mill jazz club -- an unusually short amount of time to produce a live album. To mine as much material as possible from those nights the performances were run more like recording sessions than live shows, with the crowd reverently hushed. Patricia Barber is in her element, and the only thing that seems to have suffered for the recording circumstances is the album's length -- at seven songs and 40 minutes, it walks the line between standard EP and full-length size. One surmises that it might have been longer had there been more album-quality material from the performances. Recalling the energy that was present on her critically worshipped Café Blue album, there is an ease and creativity on Companion that makes her fans' devotion understandable. Barber has been criticized for being a jazz singer in the loosest sense -- her style borrows heavily from R&B and she often covers pop songs Sonny Bono's "The Beat Goes On" is a sheer stylish delight, and her song "If This Isn't Jazz" answers that criticism with a thumb to the nose. What many critics fail to notice, however, is the strength of her musicianship. Sexism within the industry keeps many from seeing female jazz performers playing roles other than those of vocalists -- Barber's warm, breathy voice and creative phrasing are wonderful, for sure, but what really shines are her arrangements. With a talented band behind her, on Companion Barber has made magic with her compositions, her piano playing, and yes, her voice. Intended to be a companion to Modern Cool, this album of mostly previously unrecorded material serves as an excellent introduction to all of her work. [The 2003 edition of Companion
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/24/2004
  • Label: Koch Records
  • UPC: 099923573920
  • Catalog Number: 5739

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Beat Goes On (5:27)
  2. 2 Use Me (6:32)
  3. 3 Like JT (8:18)
  4. 4 Let It Rain (5:09)
  5. 5 Touch of Trash (4:48)
  6. 6 If This Isn't Jazz (5:13)
  7. 7 Black Magic Woman (10:32)
  8. 8 You Are My Sunshine (0:26)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Patricia Barber Primary Artist, Piano, Hammond Organ, Vocals
Eric Montzka Percussion, Drums
Michael Arnopol Bass
John McLean Guitar
Jason Narducy Vocals, Guest Appearance
Ruben P. Alvarez Percussion
Technical Credits
Jimmie Davis Composer
Bill Withers Composer
Patricia Barber Composer, Producer
Jim Anderson Engineer
Sonny Bono Composer
Michael Friedman Executive Producer
Peter Green Composer
Charles Mitchell Composer
Jacky Terrasson Inspiration
Allan Tucker Mastering
Paul Natkin Cover Photo
Mare Earley Graphic Design, Art Direction
Valerie Booth Executive Producer
Shawn R. Britton Mastering
Michael Fremer Liner Notes
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