Celebrated lyricist/jazz vocalist (and 2011 Grammy nominee) Lorraine Feather takes the listener on a most unusual journey-stops along the way including the depths of the Amazon, an off-the-grid island in Washington State, the circus as envisioned by Fellini, and The Twilight Zone.
Lorraine Feather: vocals Russell Ferrante: piano Shelly Berg: piano Michael Valerio: bass Grant Geissman: guitar Mike Miller: guitar Michael Shapiro: drums and percussion Gregg Field: drums Charles Bisharat: violin
Tales of the Unusual follows on the heels of Lorraine Feather's stages-of-life album Ages, which received a 2011 Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. As with Ages, these songs are all original, with music by Feather's close longtime collaborators Russell Ferrante, Eddie Arkin and Shelly Berg, also featuring music by Duke Ellington, Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi and film composer Nino Rota (for whose Juliet of the Spirits theme "Rosa Aurata" Feather created lyrics).
The unusual tales on TotU were inspired by nonfiction ("The Hole in the Map," about Amazon explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett's adventures as chronicled in David Grann's The Lost City of Z); film ("The Usual Suspects"), and television ("Where Is Everybody?" follows the first-aired episode of The Twilight Zone). Ellington's early classic "Jubilee Stomp" is reimagined as "Indiana Lana," a story about a speedy little girl who grew up to win the Indy 500 (on foot).
This album is aptly described in Carl L. Hager's liner notes as "a musical inquiry into that mysterious labyrinth at the distant edges of rational human behavior, a foggy moor equal parts chilling nightmare and blinding vision quest, vaudevillian adventure and paralytic terror." Despite the far-fetched nature of some of these stories, common human emotions underlie them-loneliness, longing, and unexpected joy.