Thursday, March 11, 2010


A cantora americana Patty Waters, nasceu no 11 de março de 1946. Patty é conhecida como exemplo de uma música que não se pode, definitivamente, aprender nas escolas.

A vida e carreira de Patty Waters permanecem envoltas numa aura de mistério. Apesar de só ter gravado dois álbuns, “Sings”, em 1965, e “College Tour”, em 1966, a sua música atingiu o estatuto de culto tendo influenciado inúmeros músicos e vocalistas experimentais, em áreas tão diversas como o jazz de vanguarda, o rock alternativo ou a música gótica. Em 1996 ainda gravou “Love Songs”, mas a força quase sobrenatural que sentimos nesta gravação já a tinha abandonado. “Sings” é um objecto estranho e percebe-se facilmente porque se manteve na obscuridade durante tanto tempo.

Nas primeiras 7 canções, com tempos de duração que não excedem os 3 minutos – algumas têm pouco mais de um minuto -, Waters toca piano e canta suavemente, quase num sussurro, temas que parecem retirados da fase inicial da carreira de Nina Simone, com o mesmo tipo de intensidade e emoção. Estas miniaturas funcionam de forma brilhante como introdução ao tema principal do disco, “Black is the Color of my True Love’s Hair” (tornado famoso pela própria Nina Simone), um hino jazz de tons negros e misteriosos em que Waters, acompanhada pelo trio do pianista Burton Greene, liberta os demónios que lhe vão na alma. Efeitos vocais tão primários como assombrosos pairam sobre o free jazz orgânico do trio, numa performance de 14 minutos que deixou um profundo impacto no futuro do jazz vocal mais criativo.

Miles Davis, Albert Ayler ou a cantora Jeanne Lee, foram alguns dos que foram tocados pela sua música, tendo Waters influenciado decisivamente a carreira de artistas experimentais como Diamanda Galas, Yoko Ono, ou Lydia Lunch. Este é o tipo de música que a algumas pessoas poderá soar como a mais terrível do mundo, e a outras como a mais bela e sublime.

Patty canta "Black is The Color of my True Love's Hair"

Singer Patty Waters was born on March 11,1946. Her first album, simply known as "Patty Waters Sings" is a gorgeous set of gentle love songs punctuated with the avant-garde vocal classic that is “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair-” a frenzied, pained and brilliant interpretation of the traditional tune. The follow up, "College Tour" expands those last 13 minutes into a nearly 40 minute album of mind blowing unique textures and vocal improvisations that must be heard.

But what’s most amazing about Patty Waters is her restraint – her ability to float above the sparse free-jazz arrangement of “Song of Clifford” with a quiet moan, gently rising above to what could become a scream but never does, riding the sound with such a masterful control of her craft. Or on “Hush Little Baby with Ba Ha Bad,” where we hear her utter her first words. “Hush little baby, don’t you cry,” she croons in the voice so prominent on her debut – a quiet cry, before it simply ignites into a swirling crescendo of absolutely psychotic wails almost unbearable to listen to.

Her cries swirl, her voice becoming more shrill with each rotation, before finally, abruptly settling down, maybe never reaching the pinnacle it could have. Waters has laid out her soul in a way few singers could do. And she did it with only the words to Hush Little Baby, and a swirl of wordless cries.

In Water’s world, everything is motivated by the emotions, everything is driven by the simple feelings that should drive it – there’s no excess, as extreme as the vocals get, there is never a moment of climax for climax sake, never a moment where she takes it to a guttural extreme that is over the top.

“Wild is the Wind” may be the albums most out-there moment, a tripped-out moment where the music is at it’s most frenzied, stop and start fits of jazz twitches, fluttering drums gently roaring, flutes squealing ad scraping, before fading into a wash of slight bass, gentle piano and percussion, before finally, the gently private shrieks of Waters erupt into guttural barks and screams in a mere second, the instruments driven back to life for a last surge. And like that the song is over. “Prayer” follows that, and its softness is welcomed. Patty is heard faintly, the bass supports her ever so lightly..She is wordless,but her prayer is heard. “It Never Entered My Mind” follows as the most conventional performance of the set, a stunningly personal vocal that may be her finest recorded moment – a quintessential jazz vocal that just burns. It is perfection.
This calm stretch of the album is continued until it’s final track, “Song of the One (I Love) or Love, My Love,” in which Waters showcases her most baffling improvisations, her most fascinating vocal techniques. She cries a piercing cry, barks a bizarre guttural just purring bark (if such a thing exists) before letting loose with the purest screams the record holds. A fluttering of flute, a beautiful flutter of soaring melody leads us out; a piano playing it’s simple melody, a few quiet moments and the record is over.

It just feels so right. It’s a performance so manic, and so shockingly precise in its rises and falls, its moments of rests and its moment of absolute mad cries that one can only imagine Patty Waters possessed by the set of songs. A truly classic performance, and a classic album – at once horrifying and emotionally relevant.

Diamanda Galás and Yoko Ono have both mentioned her as influences, and it is absolutely clear why. All three women have differing techniques, but all three women possess an ability to surrender to their art, to derive their notes and voices from the emotional need to express something beyond words.

A must listen for anyone interested in avant-garde vocals, or impassioned jazz vocals; Patty Waters is where it begins, an absolutely stunning artist.
reference - Patty's Webpage

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