Chrissie Hynde is joined by the Valve Bone Woe Ensemble for this album of covers. The album sees Hynde interpret songs by Frank Sinatra, John Coltrane, Nick Drake, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Charlie Mingus and others.
In what she's calling a "jazz/dub" album, it was recorded at London's AIR studios and produced by Marius de Vries and Eldad Guetta.
Included on the album are her rendition of The Beach Boys'' "Caroline, No" alongside her cover of Don Raye and Gene de Paul's "You Don't Know What Love Is".
"A few years back when I saw an obit in the paper for the valve-trombonist, Bob Brookmeyer, I mailed my jazz sax-playing brother, saying 'R.I.P. Bob Brookmeyer.' Terry, a man of few words, responded with 'Valve Bone Woe', a kind of Haiku beatnik prose. I thought that was a perfect title for the album I'd been working on with producer Marcus de Vries. I'm not hugely interested in branching out into other musical genres, being a devout rock singer as such, but jazz is something I grew up around (thanks to my bro) and I've always had a soft spot for it. I often bemoan what I regard as a decline in melody in popular music and I wanted to sing melodies. Plus, I have a penchant for cover songs, it's the surprise of singing something that I didn't think of writing myself that turns me on. Jazz got sidelined by Rock & Roll in the '60s, but now the demise of rock seems to be heralding in a newfound interest in it, the most creative and innovative musical forms of the 20th century. I'm happy to jump on the bandwagon." - Chrissie Hynde
An amazing piece of work
It takes a rocker with 'brass in pocket' to deliver a jazz album. It takes more than that to produce a great one, which is what Hynde does on Valve Bone Woe, the title of which was her trombonist brother's 'beatnik haiku' response to hearing about the passing of Bob Brookmeyer. Hynde here is no jazz pretender... This self-produced and I assume funded effort is 100% 'top shelf' beginning with the orchestral and string recordings done at Air Studios with most of Hynde's vocals apparently recorded there as well. The engineer Tom Bailey gives you the big de-sanctified church's room sound behind the orchestra and strings in a strictly 'old school' plenty of mike leakage recording that you're sure to appreciate. Were it not for Hynde's passionate singing, the smart, daring and sometimes busy arrangements by Marius de Vries and Eldad Guetta would star and overwhelm, but as it is everyone shines. Hynde doesnt have a big voice, but its big enough and she makes up for size with intimacy. She covers nothing with excess reverb, nor is any required.... Most importantly, Hynde is in fine interpretive voice. On her early Pretenders records she exclaimed and declaimed somewhat non-tunefully more than she sang melodically but here she exhibits a finely-honed vibrato, a wide range and a mastery of each song's meaning. Jobim's 'Once I Loved', backed by a sumptuous arrangement Claus Ogerman might love clearly demonstrates that. She gives Diana Krall a run for her swinging simplicity money. Not kidding! Everything about this package demonstrates Hynde's commitment to high quality. The gatefold jacket space isn't wasted. On the left inside you get songs and full publishing credits plus every player named with which tracks they are on, plus of course production credits. The right side consists of session photos. Even the graphics were smartly turned (and copped from Epic and Columbia Records!). Maybe Boomers growing up with The Pretenders never imagined The Pretenders' 'chick singer' covering 'Hello Young Lovers' from Rodgers and Hammerstein's 'The King and I' but Chrissie Hynde has lived it, earned it and delivers it. The vinyl mastering by Eric Boulanger at The Bakery, cut half-speed on Stan Ricker's lathe is full-bodied and with four sides with which to work, dynamic and transparent. Plenty here to keep the ears, mind and heart occupied.
- 180g Vinyl
- Double LP
- Gatefold jacket
- Made in the EU
- How Glad I Am
- Caroline, No
- I'm A Fool To Want You
- I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)
- Meditation On A Pair of Wire Cutters
- Once I Loved
- Wild Is The Wind
- You Don't Know What Love Is
- River Man
- Absent Minded Me
- Hello, Young Lovers
- No Return
- Que Reste-T-Il De Nos Amours?