Acclaimed lyric soprano Patrice Michaels, “a formidable interpretative talent” (The New Yorker), conceived and headlines this inventive, wide-ranging two-album project of 26 songs where classical music and jazz find common ground in ways that will delight fans of both musical genres.
A vocalist of uncommon intellect and sophisticated wit who taps into her training as a composer, Michaels has assembled a singular collection of songs, including one she composed, which give the silvery-voiced singer and her stellar instrumental collaborators room to gently improvise and swing in surprising and always-rewarding ways.
The program ranges from jazz-influenced classical works of the 1930s by Hungary’s Tibor Harsanyi and France’s Francis Poulenc to contemporary pieces by Randall Bauer and Laurie Altman, whose music shows his love of both Igor Stravinsky and jazz pianist Art Tatum. Contrasting pieces by Lee Hoiby and John Musto — masters of post-Romantic American song — share billing with jazz classics by Swing Era legends George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and Billy Strayhorn. From composer Chuck Israels, come gorgeous piano and voice settings of American folk songs. INTERSECTION closes on a Latin American note, with contributions from Argentinean composer Andres Beeuwsaert and Brazil’s Antonio Carlos Jobim.
"...patrice Michaels is a wildly imaginative artist, and she sings with great energy. The rest of the ensemble is pretty terrific, too. Huang’s performances of the Kapustin Preludes are excellent, and brock and Photinus add a nice touch whenever they play. The grouping of the Gershwin, Ellington, and Strayhorn pieces on the first disc (arrangements by pete labella) is great, not only in concept but also in execution. The labella arrangements are creative and the performance intimate and warm. The third grouping on the first disc- Hiby, Musto and Michaels- is also terrific..."
Erin Heisel - American Record Guide - January/February 2015