Verse

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
Patricia Barber wears her smarts on her sleeve. Verse comprises original material from the pen of this Chicago-based pianist and vocalist, which will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Barber’s fine earlier work -- the songs' literary quality and dense cultural references could come from no one else. What other jazz-related artist sprinkles songs with references to Goya, Descartes, and Edward Hopper? Consciously poetic in construction, Barber’s lyrics don’t tell the accustomed tales of romantic exaltation or sorrow. The melodic constructions of the songs also follow their own path, avoiding standard formulas. In other words, Barber is an original, and Verse ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
Patricia Barber wears her smarts on her sleeve. Verse comprises original material from the pen of this Chicago-based pianist and vocalist, which will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Barber’s fine earlier work -- the songs' literary quality and dense cultural references could come from no one else. What other jazz-related artist sprinkles songs with references to Goya, Descartes, and Edward Hopper? Consciously poetic in construction, Barber’s lyrics don’t tell the accustomed tales of romantic exaltation or sorrow. The melodic constructions of the songs also follow their own path, avoiding standard formulas. In other words, Barber is an original, and Verse may be the best example so far of her artistic individuality. Barber traffics in an intimate art that doesn’t have to raise its voice to reveal its secrets. A deft pianist who knows exactly the degree of shading her songs require, Barber also receives sympathetic support from trumpeter Dave Douglas and drummer Joey Barron.
All Music Guide - Matt Collar
Pianist/vocalist Patricia Barber is the Alanis Morissette of the jazz world. Her serpentine, poetic songs teeter between deftly witty and awkwardly Latinate. Each album is more ambitious than the last, taking her deeper into avant-garde territory both lyrically and instrumentally. Verse is no exception. Case in point: "I Could Eat Your Words," a canny bit of word play in the tradition of "Peel Me a Grape," in which Barber barely gets away with words like "provocation" and "syllogistically," only to sum things up with the devastating line, "sip the spit from your bittersweet rhyme." The indelible track here, though, has to be "If I Were Blue," featuring the line, "If I were blue, like David Hockney's pool/Dive into me and glide under a California sky/Inside your mouth and nose and eyes am I." It's perhaps the best thing Barber has ever written -- it could be considered serious modern poetry if only it didn't rhyme. About the biggest complaint one can lodge against Barber is her insistent denial of melody. Her voice is soft, almost matter-of-fact, and she more or less hints at singing. Obviously, lyrical intent is more important to Barber than how she carries a tune, and her voice does seem more suited to whispering torch songs cabaret-style, such as on "Dansons la Gigue," than delivering any vocal gymnastics. It's just that sometimes her songs could be showcased better with a consistently delivered vocal melody. However, she makes up for her lack of sonorousness to use a Barber kind of word with intricate musical arrangements, this time around augmented by the Miles Davis-cum-Lester Bowie trumpet of Dave Douglas. Barber's is a world of cloaked intentions, and Douglas' playful vibrato works like the flame of a candle illuminating her soft, shadowy corners.
Downbeat
Barber shows a real knack for bringing in players to complement her sound on record.

Barber shows a real knack for bringing in players to complement her sound on record.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/8/2004
  • Label: Koch Records
  • UPC: 099923573623
  • Catalog Number: 5736

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Moon (6:04)
  2. 2 Lost in This Love (3:01)
  3. 3 Clues (5:00)
  4. 4 Pieces (5:35)
  5. 5 I Could Eat Your Words (7:51)
  6. 6 The Fire (4:52)
  7. 7 Regular Pleasures (5:44)
  8. 8 Dansons la Gigue (4:20)
  9. 9 You Gotta Go Home (3:17)
  10. 10 If I Were Blue (5:57)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Patricia Barber Primary Artist, Piano, Vocals, fender rhodes
Joey Baron Drums
Dave Douglas Trumpet
Eric Montzka Drums
Paul Phillips Strings
Fox Fehling Strings
Robert Swan Strings
Michael Arnopol Bass
Marlou Johnston Strings
Ronald Satkiewicz Strings
Judy Stone Strings
Cliff Colnot Conductor
Baird Dodge Strings
Neal Alger Guitar
Lawrence D. Brown Strings
Karen Dirks Strings
Katinka Kleijn Strings
Technical Credits
Patricia Barber Producer
Jim Anderson Engineer
Michael Friedman Executive Producer
Allan Tucker Mastering
Cliff Colnot String Arrangements, String Conductor
Isabelle Wong Graphic Design, Art Direction
Shawn R. Britton Mastering
Tony Monaco Graphic Design, Recreation
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