Flirting with Disaster

Lorraine throws her hatThis is a shot from a photo session I did with Mikel Healey for my  new album, Flirting with Disaster.  Michael Ticcino, the artist who created the cover and booklets for my last two releases, is working with me on this one too. Michael specializes in photo-surreal composites, which means that Mikel shoots me in front of white paper and then Michael can place me in the woods, the desert, space, or wherever he likes.

We rented a wind machine for this shoot. The plan was to put me in some kind of wild outdoor setting. We wound up not using any of the wind shots, though. We call this the “stereopticon phenomenon,” something you go to a little trouble/expense to incorporate and then it doesn’t work out. For Tales of the Unusual, Michael and I thought it would be sort of cool and non sequitur for me to be holding a stereopticon (I love them, as mentioned in my Misplacement post), but wound up not using any of those shots. The device, which I bought on eBay, is now in my garage. Unfortunately, it was warped and the double-photo cards that came with it never leapt into 3-D as they’re supposed to. The other idea was to have an animal in the shot, and that did pan out, but it was Sterling and he worked for biscuits.

The most important thing about any album, obviously, is the music. For the last three, I’ve created a document in Google Drive with my plan for the project, then I keep updating it and changing it. I knew that I wanted to keep working with my collaborators, of course: Eddie Arkin, Russell Ferrante, Shelly Berg, and the wonderful addition of Dave Grusin, who came into our musical world for Attachments, to the delight of all. I think about subjects for the theme, which in this case is more purely romantic than any of my other projects; grooves I like; a time frame. Because the last release day for albums one wants to submit for Grammy consideration is September 30th, and submissions are in August, that’s the period many artists think of as the release year. My albums all consist of original material and there was no way I could whip one together in time for a 2014 “street date,” so it will be, God willing, the first half of next year.

I have four songs recorded so far, entitled “Flirting with Disaster,” “Disastrous Consequences,” “It Feels Like Snow” and “Off-Center.” These, and the two I’m recording in June, were written with Russell and with Eddie. It feels like a natural progression from what we’ve all being co-creating these last few years, and I hope you’ll like it!



7 Responses

  1. For years, friends have berated me for not paying attention to lyrics, but only to the music and the charts. Well, that ended with my hearing of your recordings . Thank you
    Ms. Feather. After hearing one tune of yours on CDBABY, I had to have that recording.
    What followed was my purchasing 9 more of your cds; each one a treasure.
    I can hear my Dad saying to me, “She sings in tune, thank goodness”.
    Once again, thank you coaxing my ears, heart and soul into listening to and hearing your lyrics.
    Len Levy

  2. Len (which my mother called my father from time to time as a nickname), thank you so much for your lovely comment. I’m honored to have changed your listening habits to include appreciation of lyrics!

  3. Hi
    I’ve always loved catchy lyrics as I’ve listened to & appreciate Al Jarreau’s music. I read about your endeavors in JT & my curiosity was stirred & I must say I will most assuredly look up your works at our local outlet. I have always loved Ferrantis work. Stay inspired.

  4. It is September. I waited and waited and waited some more. How many sleeps until “Flirting”?

    Incidentally, I did some research. The wonderful musicians that play with you are MORE wonderful when they play with you. This suggests that you emit some kind of force field that effects these folk. There may be a jazz scifi movie in there somewhere. In any case, “don’t change a hair….” You’ll just have to live with this as it is.

  5. This is a thank you note for years of pleasure. I just caught up with “Flirting,” a jazz song cycle that, for me at least, embodies most everything you have learned about writing lyrics over the years — witty and wise– words that sometimes float on the melody, sometimes counterpoint, sometimes seem in tension until the anxiety resolves — genuinely musical syntax — nothing I know quite like it. Your “Staircase” with lover is a bookend in my mind with Anjani Thomas’s etherial rendering of LC’s “Standing on the Stairs” waiting for a lover who neglects to come.

    You seem to have a real affinity with pianists. Jessica Williams is up there in the Islands now; can’t help wondering if you get together sometimes to talk jazz into the night.

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