Friday, September 10, 2004

Patty Waters-YOU THRILL ME CD (Water, PO Box 2947, San Francisco CA 94126)

I've been interested in this jazz lady's recorded output ever since I read an in-passing yet power-packed reference to her in Lester Bangs' YOKO ONO/PLASTIC ONO BAND album review in a 1971 issue of ROLLING STONE long ago (I believe this now-legendary review is available on-line easily enough, or you can probably get hold of a reprint in one of those old STONE paperback collections with a bit of effort). After a few years of extreme anxiety over not being able to hear Miss Waters gleep, yelp and moan the infamous Folkie Anthem of 1964 "Black is the Color of my True Love's Hair" (Water's as-yet unheard screaches and moans even permeating my dreams, which goes to show you just how obsessed I can get with regards to unheard booty!), I finally did the smart thing and placed an ad in GOLDMINE for such wares, these being the way-pre-ebay days. I got about ten responses (which is ten more responses than I got asking for tapes of Cleveland first-wave underground bands placed in an early 1980 issue of THE CLEVELAND EXPRESS) and since then...well, my life wasn't improved or changed for the better or anything along those lines but I finally did get a chance to hear PATTY WATERS SINGS in its full early avant garde cheap studio glory and that was good enough by me!

Anyway here's a new collection of ne'er before released Waters which fits in well with those of you entranced by not only her two ESP platters but the fantastic creepy-crawl of that duet she did with up-and-comer Amy Sheffer on the Savoy Marzette Watts album. It's a pretty good doozie as well, starting off with a 1964 beer commercial (!) up through some demo tracks for Columbia (produced by Tom comment!) on and on through a variety of nice ESP-y thingies that remind me of the way the early avant garde of jazz had this soft, extremely spaced-out sound (witness the Jeanne Lee/Ran Blake album) which stood as an opposite to the sonic explorations of the time, yet complimented it perfectly. Believe me, listening to Patty's breathy voice moan a could-get-stale standard like "Georgia on my Mind" is every bit an esoteric, transcendental (to get hippie about it) experience as listening to her stranglulations on "Black"!

Those of you expecting a Yoko Ono yodelfest will be in for a letdown, but if you're impartial to the soft as well as the hard then YOU THRILL ME will satisfy you plenty. Music to soothe the savage breast, and speaking of breasts you should see the photo of Patty on page ten of the enclosed booklet! I guess there are now more than a few ways that we can compare Patty and Yoko, but for the sake of decency I'll forego any more comments...use your own avid imaginations!

(Booklet notes are as good as we've come to expect during these past few decades of CD exhumations, including musings from Masaki Batoh of Ghost [see yesterday's post] as well as long-silent hero Byron Coley [who tells about this concert where he was sitting next to Patti Smith and she wouldn't stop yapping about Waters!]. And to top it all off, there are even a few eye-opening words from Miss Waters herself popping up as well! It's a hoot reading her tell all of us info-starved maniacs about a number of associations with everyone from the likes of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock to...Timothy Leary??? [Well, at least she stayed at his estate!]. A rilly nice package to accompany this fantab disque, and y'know, sometimes I do get stuck with the ol' wordage when trying to think up new ways to express pleasure over new recordings of substantial worth, so for now let me just say...good job and leave it at that!)

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