Roy Nathanson – Sotto Voce

Roy Nathanson – Sotto Voce

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[AUM037] - CD in 4-panel digipak

Roy Nathanson: alto sax, soprano sax & vocals
Sam Bardfeld: violin & vocals
Curtis Fowlkes: trombone & vocals
Tim Kiah: bass & vocals
Napoleon Maddox: human beatbox & vocals

"In a world of useless shouting things, Roy Nathanson's Sotto Voce is sane, funny, beautiful and intimate." –Elvis Costello

Debut album of a truly singular concept/group from the distinctly gifted and wide-open mind of saxophonist-composer-songwriter Roy Nathanson. The group features his fellow Jazz Passengers Curtis Fowlkes and Sam Bardfeld, along with singing bassist Tim Kiah and human beat-box/singer Napoleon Maddox of Cincinnati hip-hop/jazz outfit Iswhat?! The album features six new songs and/or stories by Nathanson; an interpolation of Bobby Hebb’s mid-60s R&B-pop smash “Sunny”; a powerful reading of great Jazz composer Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s “The Inflated Tear,” featuring new lyrics by Nathanson; and more..

"The record dazzles from start to finish .. Sotto Voce blends bebop, funk, free improv, poetry and hip-hop, and the result is bizarre and irresistible." –Steve Greenlee, JazzTimes

"Sotto Voce is the best example yet of the saxophonist-storyteller's tales 'n' tunes mélange. His hipster stance always has a big heart behind it, and as the 'bone, strings, and reeds jell, a true sonic cinema emerges. From a poignant 'Sunrise, Sunset' to a chilling 'Inflated Tear,' it throws out some touchstones too. Check the way the human beatbox dude splashes like Elvin." –Jim Macnie, Village Voice

"Here's a resounding welcome back for Nathanson, whose Sotto Voce brims with a bemused exuberance and bubbles with a strange brew of spoken word, song and improvisation. [This album] functions as a hip, lyrical variety show that at turns gets boisterous with instrumental soaring (snaky sax lines, Curtis Fowlkes' trombone slithers, violinist Sam Bardfeld's klezmer-shaded phrasings) and energized by the hip-hop and doo-wop-infused vocal of Napoleon Maddox. Tunes range from Nathanson originals (the playful but poignant "By The Page" and the melodic beauty "Home") to covers like the new-grooved rendering of Bobby Hebb's 1966 soul hit "Sunny." Like Nathanson's spirited projects with the Jazz Passengers, which he and Fowlkes co-founded in 1987, Sotto Voce is jazz that stretches the art form." –Dan Ouellette, Billboard

"With superb arrangements and inspired playing, the ironically-titled Sotto Voce is nuts and an absolute gem." –The Wire

"Utilizing a wicked combination of instrumental and vocal counterpoint, rich vocal harmonies, passionate instrumental cadenzas and collective improvisation, this is intimate ensemble music of a highly advanced but conceptually playful nature. Equal parts carnival excess, vaudeville showmanship and Tin Pan Alley smarts, Sotto Voce finds Nathanson and company delivering what may be the year's most unusual and intriguing album." –Troy Collins, All About Jazz

"Saxophonist Roy Nathanson's Sotto Voce is an unexpected delight, an avant-populist celebration of the multiplicity of the human voice, in which funky modern jazz meets Jewish raconteurship meets gospel spirituality meets pop earthiness meets hip-hop beatboxing. It's an outstanding album, a hard-grooving, serious/funny exploration of the surrealism of everyday life, and Nathanson deals with potentially heavy topics–war, death, old age–with exemplary honesty, soul, and humour." –Nate Dorward, CODA

1. By The Page - 04:28
2. Sunny - 04:18
3. Kidnapped - 03:45
4. London Story - 06:36
5. The Inflated Tear - 06:21
6. Sunrise, Sunset - 04:42
7. Shake - 09:08
8. Home - 05:17
9. It's Alright - 05:53

Produced by Hugo Dwyer and Steven Joerg
Recorded by Hugo Dwyer on November 13, 2005
at Systems Two Studio, Brooklyn
Mixed and Mastered by Hugo out back where the horse used to live.
Shutter trigger and design by Ming@409

"By the Page" Music and Lyrics-Roy Nathanson;
vocal arrangement-Tim Kiah
"Sunny" Music and Lyrics-Bobby Hebb;
arranged by Roy Nathanson, Tim Kiah
"Kidnapped" Music and Lyrics-Roy Nathanson
"London Story" Music and Lyrics-Roy Nathanson;
arr. by Kiah, Sam Bardfeld, Nathanson
"The Inflated Tear" Music-Roland Kirk, Lyrics-Roy Nathanson;
arr. by Tim Kiah
"Sunrise, Sunset" Music-Jerry Bock, Lyrics-Sheldon Harnick;
arr. by Roy Nathanson
"Shake" Music and Lyrics-Roy Nathanson;
arr. by Kiah, Bardfeld, Nathanson
"Home" Music and Lyrics-Roy Nathanson;
arr. by Tim Kiah
"It's Alright" Music and Lyrics-Roy Nathanson;
arr. by Roy Nathanson, Sam Bardfeld