MusicDish e-Journal - May 26, 2017
MusicDish Advertising Network
» HOME » INSIDER SCOOP » CAREER TIPS » MUSIC SPOTLIGHT » MUSICDISH*CHINA
» INDUSTRY INTERVIEWS » NEWS BEAT » DIGITAL SKOOL » OPEN REVIEW » MUSICDISH EDELWEISS
Search MusicDish e-Journal (Advanced)
Subscribe To MusicDish e-Journal
About | Contact | Advertise | RSS | Submit Article | Submit News | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution
Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network

Event Review: Fay Victor Ensemble
Cartwheels at Galapagos
By Mark Kirby
(more articles from this author)
2007-03-18
Comment | Email | Print | RSS

The Fay Victor Ensemble takes the mantle of that musical pirate’s treasure called jazz fusion by returning to the essence of what once upon a time was called jazz-rock. Fusion is a pejorative term - a straight up diss - in some quarters because it calls forth images of chops-aholic showboat musicians playing to impress other musicians with their, ahh, technique.

Jazz-rock, on the other hand, came out of the boundary-smashing music of the sixties and early seventies, with jazz players such as Miles Davis and Charles Lloyd adding psychedelic rock influences to their jazz (electronics and rock beats) and rock musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa using jazz elements (non rock structures, expanded harmony and improvisation) to their rock-based music.

Jazz-rock musicians took the sophistication of jazz and merged it with the devil-may-care dynamism and primal energy of rock to create music that reflected the darkness and the innocence of that era. Fay Victor, whose voice blends the jazzy soulfulness of Nina Simone and the angular, melodic twists of freedom jazz vocalist Jeannie Lee and her cohorts, all veterans of jazz and other music forms, harkens back to this original concept and leaps forward with it to create an original blend.

After trudging to the show through the face-twisting icy cold, one could only hope that it would be cozy at Galapagos, the Williamsburg club where Fay and Ensemble had their much anticipated record release party. The club’s cavernous room lent the air of a concert hall to the show, which featured songs from the group’s new CD, Cartwheels Through the Cosmos, which was both well represented and expanded upon by live performance.

The CD starts with the dynamic “Leap of Faith,” perhaps the group’s signature song. This piece drives and swings like rock and jazz. T. A. Thompson, who sounds like no other drummer this drummer-writer has heard, plays a clattering, orchestral style of the trap set, which supports and brings out the elements of the music, by both playing the beat and propelling the music with a Greek chorus of sharp and crashing cymbals and tom tom drums.

Ken Filiano weaves his throbbing, rumbling bass throughout. Anders Nilsson scatters rock guitar licks like a jazz-deranged Keith Richards, with forays into atonal blues. The entire tsunami of sound supports Ms. Victor’s voice in a song that is defiant and uplifting with a dash of sass. If there is a theme song for the band (or New York for that matter), this should be it.

Live, they hit the ground running, like an action sequence in a movie with the CD’s second cut, “Exchange Rate.” Ms. Victor started alone with a plaintive cry that located the song in an old African marketplace (a mournful sound that presages the punch line of the piece). The band then entered with a strident blast of sound: T.A Thompson and Mr. Filiano played a loping but driving pulse, with Mr. Nilsson adding startling but tasteful shards of guitar textures and licks. Their free form-sounding musical phrases reminded this listener of old field hollers and spirituals.

The waves of music built up, then waned as Ms. Victor sang: “I wonder if all the cowry shells and seeds would have been enough to pay for me / in Dahomey 1723.” She could have railed against slavery, slam poetry style, but all good poets and lyricists present such sentiments in ways that get at the listener in oblique ways.

The strength of the live show, as well as the CD, is that the group’s music is infused with an array of black musical influences. “Stray Dogs” is a deceptive, quirky ballad with a waltz-like feel over a regular 4/4 floating groove. The bluesy essence of the tune contains passages that have the atonal angularity of Thelonius Monk that perfectly fit the song’s story of loneliness and love lost.

“Pillow in My Ear,” on the record a duet by Mr. Filiano and Ms. Lee but live included guitar, belies the Ensemble’s avant-garde influences and penchant for spontaneous reinvention. On CD, the song opens with the bass playing passages of percussive noise interrupted by stately, bowed phrases. Ms. Victor enters with a disembodied vocal cry that is sparsely and softly cajoled by the bass.

Live, the bass intro was more intense - no doubt reflecting the emotions of the moment - with electronically enhanced sound creating an ethereal aural landscape. With the guitar mimicking and answering the bass and the vocal more arresting and dynamic than on the record, the audience hardly noticed the faint sound of disco bleeding through the walls from the other room.

“Spin” is another band tour de force. It started with a drum solo where T.A. showed his unique style of creating percussive melodies. He explored the sounds and textures of the cymbals and drums played by his fingers and slapped by his hands. This built to a dynamic peak that lurched into a driving funk rock section, with Ms. Victor’s vocals riding over top. The song then morphed into a dense, free form jam before going back to the central tune.

The Ensemble brought the audience back to earth with “It’s Coming,” a song best described as a happy little ditty about our planet blowing itself up, forcing humanity to float in space, either in despair or whimsy, as Ms. Victor sings: “I’ll swim back strokes keeping up with the asteroids / hope to avoid those black holes doing cartwheels through the cosmos/ when the earth is done done well done.” The easy bossa nova feeling of the song and the gentle vocals capture a sense of humor, fantasy and irony not often heard in jazz.

The highlight of show was the finale, “Earth,” which also ends the CD. Ms. Victor explained that the lyrics were to be for a vocal version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone from the Sun.” But legal issues made it impossible to do for the record, so the band wrote a song for the lyrics. Musically it combines jazz, rock and funk. Mr. Filiano played standup that bridged the three musical worlds, as did T.A.’s brush and bass drum beat. Mr. Nilsson played a snaky rock line, interspersed with jazz chord accents. This proved to be the perfect coda to the evening and has the effect of a ship taking off and doing cartwheels through the cosmos.

For more information and to purchase this and other Fay Victor CD’s go to www.myspace.com/fayvictorensemble or to www.fayvictor.com

For more information and to contact the author, click on the author’s name at the top of the page.


Home » Music Spotlight » Event Review: Fay Victor Ensemble
Permalink:http://www.musicdish.com/mag/?id=11690
Email |Print |Comment |RSS

back | top


MusicDish Advertising Network

Music Spotlight

» Nielsen Release Music 360 China Report

» New Island Entertainment Presents A F8ckin Birthday Extravaganza at Santos Party House

» Toyota 'Feeling the Street' Global Street Music Campaign

» Students, Musicians and Filmmakers Unite for the 'Take Me To The River' Education Initiative Launch

» Is Nashville's New "It" City Status Threatening Its Musical Roots?

Music Spotlight Directory



» [2017-04-18] A2LiVE Welcomes Eric Reithler-Barros As New Managing Director And CCO; China's EDM Festival Behemoth Eyes Asian Ecosystem Dominance

» [2017-03-16] Jackson Wong Named As Managing Director Of Warner Music China; Wong Will Oversee The Day-to-day Running Of WMG's Beijing Office And Is Also Expected To Expand The Company's Business In Mainland China

» [2017-03-09] Avex Group Rediscovers Mainland China Market; Japan-based Entertainment Management Firm Grants Chinese Platform NetEase Cloud Music An Exclusive License To Its Copyrighted Music

» [2017-03-08] Peermusic And Hamshore Tang Win Lawsuit Against Chinese Label YY; Chinese Court Ruled That YY Should Immediately Cease The Infringement Of The Work's Mechanical, Performance And Digital Rights

» [2017-02-22] Earl & The Steadies Sign With MusicDish For Representation In China; The Band Will Tour Mainland China In May In Support Of The Release Of Their 2016 Album "Love Revolution"

» [2017-02-18] Armada Night - China; The Amsterdam-based Record Label Has Announced The First-ever Armada Night China Tour

» [2017-02-16] NYC's Chinese-American MC Bohan Phoenix Releases New EP 'JALA'; Brooklyn-based, Chinese-transplant Bohan Phoenix Unites Cultures And Expresses His Mixed Identity

» [2017-02-15] Music Marketing Agency Syn Launches Beijing Office; Syn Announced The Official Launch Of The Beijing Office, Broadening The Horizons Of The Tokyo-based Music Marketing Agency

» [2017-02-15] Warner/Chappell Production Music Promotes Aaron Gant To Senior Vice President Of Production; Warner/Chappell Promotes Aaron Gant To Senior Vice President Of Production After 25 Years In The Industry

» [2017-02-08] World Blues & Roots Band Harper And Midwest Kind China Tour; The 2-week Tour Will Bring Their Unique Sound To Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Wuhan And Shijiazhuang

» [2017-02-07] ASCAP Expands Asia-Pacific Strategy; Leading US PRO Engages CML Consultancy Services To Work On Asia-Pacific Strategy And Revenue Growth Opportunities

» [2017-02-05] Why Do So Many Music Technology Startups Fail?; A Major Problem Is That Many Music Industry Startups Do Not Actually Test Their Riskiest Assumptions When Developing A Strategy
MusicDish Advertising Network

follow MusicDish on
Follow MusicDish on Twitter

Mi2N Music PR

Nick Brodeur Wins Studio Package From ReverbNation

David Longoria, April Diamond, Trent Park, Larissa Lam Head Up White House Event

17-Year-Old Singer/Songwriter Wins Prestigious Music Award In Hawaii

Jah Mason Empowers Women With New Single 'Its Your Life'

Amsterdam Dance Event Announces Spotlight On Morocco And Hello DeLaMar, ADE Changes Venue

Deadline Looms - The 22nd Annual USA Songwriting Competition

Earl And The Steadies To Play In Seoul For "Back To The Retro" Party



Websites: Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network
Services: Submit Article | Submit News | Submit Video | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution

Copyright © 1997-2017 MusicDish LLC., all rights reserved.
About MusicDish e-Journal | Contact Us | Advertise | RSS | Internships