Reviews of Red
“music that pushes the envelope of vocal jazz and R&B”Polish vocalist/composer/violinist Beata Pater, as of late in San Francisco, releases Red, the third recording in her "colors" series following Black (B&B, 2006) and Blue (B&B, 2011). She specializes in the no-lyrics singing that is related to, but not exactly the same as scat singing. Much of this is present on Red where, an expressive and passionate singer, Pater draws every bit of creativity from her mezzo-soprano voice. Her capability is elastic like that of Betty Carter and Cheryl Bentyne, with the midrange guts of Sarah Vaughan.
Red, like the previous "color" releases, focuses nominally on the particular color considered, ergo, the original "Big Red" and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's "Red Clay." Red sports fewer mainstream standards in favor of more Pater compositions and those shared with pianist Mark Little, with "Red Clay" and pianist Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly," which opens the disc, representing the "standards." Pater approaches a hip-hop sensibility on "Sir Doug of Edwards" and a Michael Jackson-infused groove on "Big Red," which features electric guitarist André Bush.
Pater brings all of her James Brown funk to "Red Clay," producing a rendition that is at once curious and fertile. It is a reflection of the entire disc, which houses music that pushes the envelope of vocal jazz and R&B. Pater has seized on a theme and she is riding it for all it is worth. It will be interesting to see where it goes next.
Review by C. MICHAEL BAILEY, AlLAboutJazz.com
"Beata Pater gets 4.5 Stars. The future of vocal jazz is in good hands!"... The follow up to "Blue" finds Pater reinventing some standard fare utilizing her voice not as the lead instrument as with Blue but instead as part of the effervescent hooks and grooves sprinkled throughout this most engaging release. Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly" and Freddie Hubbard's "Red Clay" are two standards tossed in a mixed grill of what Pater does best. As a vocal musical chameleon Pater can fit in or fill any genre whole and transcend the norm from mundane and predictable to somewhat "artsy" while full of meaning full expression. For some the question, "Sounds like?" comes into play and while artistic comparisons are for the most part inherently unfair lets say in the case Flora Purim meets Cheryl Bentyne (before her pipes finally crapped out on her). Vocally Pater is not really cutting new ground here until we start talking about her original compositions and her place within the band she has assembled. ...
Beata Pater gets 4.5 Stars. The future of vocal jazz is in good hands!
Review by Brent Black, CriticalJazz.com
"a tour de force performance that goes beyond scat singing and takes vocalese to another level. It is the pure emotion of the music free from the tyranny of the word"
Red is the third album in jazz singer Beata Pater’s color series. Beginning in 2006 with Black, she (in collaboration with pianist/composer Mark Little) put together a set of familiar standards, songs like “Moon River,” “September in the Rain,” and “Summer Wind,” with what her website calls “modern, edgy interpretations” rooted in traditional jazz, “displaying her rhythmic acuity and fine tuned control of tonality.” “Control” is the key. Pater is a singer who understands how to control her voice for optimum effect.
Blue, which followed, was a collection of mostly original material, but building on the vocal control she had demonstrated in the Black album. She spurns lyrics and plays her voice like a musical instrument. It is a tour de force performance that goes beyond scat singing and takes vocalese to another level. It is the pure emotion of the music free from the tyranny of the word. This is the new direction of her music and it is the direction she continues to explore in Red.
I’m not sure how literally listeners are meant to apply the album titles. Certainly there are songs like “Afro Blue” and “Blue in Green” on Blue and “Big Red” and “Red Clay” on the new album, but if there is a central connection between all the tracks on the albums related to the color, I can’t say I have any idea what it is. Talking about the second album,Pater says “I want these CDs to not just be a series of tunes but to flow like a suite so listeners can listen to the whole CD in one setting.” Perhaps I’m being too literal, but this doesn’t help to explain the relationship between the musical choices and the titles.
On the other hand, if the music is great, what difference does it make? And there is some excellent music on all three of these albums. Of the dozen tracks on Red, only three are from composers other than Pater and Little, either individually or together. The album opens with Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly,” which gives listeners a good indication of what’s on tap for the rest of the album. If you like what you hear, you’re in for a treat. The other covers are the interesting “Bachnova” from Polish composer Marek Balata and Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay.”
Of the original material, highlights include Pater’s “Bis,” a down and dirty gem which shows a wilder side of the singer and features some nice solo work from Darius Babazadeh on sax, guitarist Carl Lockett, and Little on keys. The Latin rhythms of “Ahmar” are infectious and Babazadeh adds some nice texture with his solo on the sax and flute. There is a haunting Afro beat on Mark Little’s “Praise” where the singer is joined by Kush Khanna on tabula, Ranzel Merritt on drums, Tom Peron on trumpet, and Buca Necak on contrabass. “Rainy Bombay” has the Indian vibe indicated by the title, providing another twist. “Big Red” features a truly impressive keyboard solo from Little and some as well as some nice vocal harmonies from Pater.
Beata Pater is an original. Red is not an album you want to read about, Red is an album you have to hear.
Review by Jack Goodstein, Blogcritics.org
“Pater puts together some spunky, perky, florid, sassy, rambunctious songs that transport the listener"Beata Pater's 6th solo CD, the 3rd in her color series, might best be remarked by her choice of covers: Freddie Hubbard's Red Clay, Herbie Hancock's Butterfly, and Marek Balata's Bachnova (the remainder being hers or co-written with keyboardist Mark Little), turning them all into Brazilian versions of a stripe Ivan Conti and the Azymuth lads might well have penned, novo-latinate. Pater was extensively trained in Poland on violin, but was early-on recognized for vocal strengths and started her professional life—at age 8!—with the Warsaw opera. For her still young years, Pater's been busy as a bee in recording sessions, commercials, movie sundtracking, and so on. From opera, though, she moved into her real love, jazz, and that's where she resides now. Beata's compared to Flora Purim and Tania Maria, apt enough models, but I detect quite a bit of fellow countrymen Urszula Dudziak and Urszula's husband Michael Urbaniak as well, with some Czeslaw Nieman and Bjorn Jaysun Lindh tossed in for good measure. She indeed possesses a strong voice, much bolder than one expects in the melismatics displayed throughout the CD (there are no lyrics anywhere save for a very curious odd short spoken appearance by Doug Edwards) as well as quite a penchant for writing and arranging…aaaaand choosing very good session musicians. One herself, she knows the best when she hears them. Think of Red as a kind of mid-ground between Shakatak and Sade instrumentally, with both bands grooving on samba, bossa, etc. Gil, Bonfa, Pascoal, and the giants of those genres would or will be (sorry, I don't know who among them is alive or not, not being an obituarian) quite impressed, and I'm telling you to pay special attention to bassist Aaron Germain and what he does with those four fat strings. Holy cow! Pater puts together some spunky, perky, florid, sassy, rambunctious songs that transport the listener from the sardined hustle and bustle of NYC to the expansive sunlit beaches of Rio de Janeiro—and, hoo boy!, can we ever use that kind of escape in these times. And as I like to pay attention to the little-known but oft intriguing elements in these affairs, let me also mention that the whole gig was recorded and mixed by Bond Bergland of The Saqqara Dogs, writer of one of my all-time fave songs, Found Wonder off his really obscure solo LP. Stick in the crit biz long enuff, and you'll see everyone you ever knew, or knew about, pass through several times. I think M.C. Escher coulda made a tesseract of it, but it would've been wrought of palm trees and cocktails with umbrellas in them after listening to Red.
Review by Mark S. Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
Musicians of Red
Beata Pater - vocal, violin
Mark Little - keys
Aaron Germain - bass
Ranzell Merritt - drums
Andre Bush - guitar
Carl Lockett - guitar
Celia Malheiros- guitar
Raul Ramirez - percussion
Kush Khanna- tabla
Darius Babazadeh - sax and flute
Tom Peron - trumpet
Buca Necak - contrabass
Doug Edwards - voice
Tracks1. BUTTERFLY (Herbie Hancock) 4:21
2. AHMAR (Pater-Little) 4:05
3. BACHNOVA (Marek Bałata) 3:37
4. SIR DOUG OF EDWARDS (Pater-Little) 3:57
5. BIG RED (Pater-Little) 4:05
6. BIS (Beata Pater) 4:36
7. LADY CARMEN (Mark Little) 3:48
8. PRAISE (Mark Little) 6:52
9. RANY BOMBAY (Beata Pater) 4:11
10. RED CLAY (Freddie Hubbard) 4:17
11. TRAGIC BEAUTY (Pater-Little) 5:16
12. VERMELHO (Pater-Little) 3:03
Recording infoRecorded in Berkeley September, 2011
Recorded at San Pablo Recorders
Recording/mix engineer - Bond Bergland
Mastering engineer - Dale "D-Wiz" Everingham
Media infoArtist: Beata Pater
Label: B&B Records
Catalog Number: BB0418
UPC Code: 826049000043
Street Date: April 2, 2013
Radio Stations Playing Red
|La Guagua Radio||Buenos Aires||Argentina|
|CHMR||St. John's NF||Canada|
|Aspen Public Radio||Aspen||CO|
|TCC "The Grid"||Tulsa||OK|
|Pure Jazz Radio||Online||Online|
|Polish Jazz Radio||Poland|
|Georgia Public Radio||Syndicated||Syndicated|
|Jazz & Blues Tour Radio||The Netherlands
|KUER||Salt Lake City||UT|