December 16, 2009
Will Layman and Andrew Zender joined forces for this year’s edition of PopMatters.com’s The Best Jazz of 2009 feature, choosing 14 recordings divided into three categories: New Piano Trios, New Groups/New Sounds and Tradition Reinterpreted.
The third category is where you’ll find our own Fay Victor, whose release, The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music), made the cut on a best-of list that also includes critical favorites from Ben Allison, John Hollenbeck, Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman and Henry Threadgill among others.
“She is arguably a contemporary version of Betty Carter or Abbey Lincoln,” they write, “yet she is new, too. Although she’ll have some listeners scratching their heads as she lets her story-songs meander, others will find completely irresistible her style of coiling up a melody and letting it spiral out into unpredictable directions.”
In his review earlier this year, Zender also noted Ms. Victor’s “challenging and rewarding world of captivating vocal work and stirring spontaneity,” calling her “a musician and composer who is rewriting the rules of vocal jazz.”
November 23, 2009
AllAboutJazz.com’s Managing Editor John Kelman posted his review of vocalist/composer Fay Victor‘s latest release, The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music), over the weekend.
“Once again,” he writes, “Victor’s soulful, emotive delivery combines with avant-tinged invention, placing her alongside great vocal innovators like Betty Carter, Jeanne Lee, Sheila Jordan…a truly creative singer with the chops to accomplish whatever she wants, but the good taste to ensure that substance always trumps style.”
He adds, “With an ensemble that twists and turns the music in response to, and as a catalyst for, Victor’s own unbound improvisational acumen, The Freesong Suite is a vocal album that stands well above the pack; a welcome respite from the unwieldy preponderance of unimaginative vocal jazz albums hitting the market.”
October 11, 2009
© DAZDI 2009
We’re very pleased to report that today’s New York Times features a review of The Fay Victor Ensemble’s The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music) by Ben Ratliff.
“A jazz singer who makes her notes slow, wide and meaningful—she often sounds like an evening-out of Betty Carter and Abbey Lincoln—Fay Victor uses a great and simple concept on The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue Music)…a studio recording organized like a live set. This means the band flows from one song into another, without knowing where it’s going next…these songs have distinct melodic character: fascinating ballads with Anders Nilsson’s country-bluesy guitar soloing, drum chants, some careful free improvising.”