Patricia Barber on piano and vocals
Neal Alger, guitar
Larry Kohut, bass
Eric Montzka, drums
In reviewing Patricia Barber’s 2006 album Mythologies, a song cycle based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses that she wrote as a result of receiving the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003, JazzTimes celebrated her as “the most fearless, most intellectually stimulating and, by extension, most interesting singer-songwriter-pianist on the American jazz scene.”
Likewise, DownBeat championed the album, calling it “brilliant” and proclaiming that her “noir, conspiratorially whispered alto is by now legendary.” And Don Heckman, writing in the Los Angeles Times, praised Barber for taking “her natural form of expressiveness into dazzling new arenas of lyrical creativity.” For her latest album on Blue Note Records, singer/pianist Barber applies that “natural form of expressiveness” to breathe stimulating and intimate new life into the music of one of the Great American Songbook composers.
A 13-tune collection that exhibits her austere power of singing, The Cole Porter Mix not only spotlights her artful interpretations of Porter’s songs but also features her modern-cool compositional prowess on three Porter-inspired originals that seamlessly fit into the set list. “Cole Porter has always been my songwriting idol,” says Barber. “I love his music and I’ve been singing his songs for so many years.” Barber’s band includes guitarist Neal Alger, who has been performing with her the past six years, and bassist Michael Arnopol, who has worked with her since 1980.