A Fortnight In France
(Blue Note/EMI – 2004)
by Matthew S. Robinson
Proving that the French are not completely stupid, Chicago-bred chanteuse Patricia Barber continues the proud but perhaps odd tradition started by the likes of Josephine Baker by garnering rave reviews in France than she does at home. Fortunately, this new live CD demonstrates why she deserves such raves and will hopefully help bring them back across the ocean.
Combining South side drive with Francophile panache and the traditional quartet swing of “Witchcraft” with the funk band agitation of “Crash,” Barber shows a command and a cool that others could only get perhaps from their new husbands. And though other standards such as Johnny Mercer¹s “Laura” may languish a bit too much, the gender-flip of “Norwegian Wood” and the propulsive original “Whiteworld” refresh and keep the quartet of audiences involved and appreciative.
© 2004, M. S. Robinson, ARR