Jenny Davis – Rearranged
(Three Penny Records)
Released – 21 Feburary 2020
The full name of this set is “Rearranged (The Yeoman Warders Project),” which sent me scurrying to find out more about “Yeoman Warders.”
It seems they (thanks, Wikipedia) are “…responsible for looking after any prisoners in the Tower (of London) and safeguarding the British crown jewels.”
Ms. Davis says in this case, her music is “…a metaphor for raising children in a dangerous world – where parents protect and behave as the Queen’s guard, unflinching, loyal and sometimes silent in the face of ignorance, fear, even hatred. It reveals the duty of a parent standing guard where the children are free to thrive – safe in a sanctuary of parental protection, without care or worry.”
And while I can appreciate any inspiration for marvelous work, this is all way too complicated for me.
Here’s what I know – I like this set.
The old disc jockey in me looks for a catchy tune and a hook. And while that may sound crass to the artiste, it is what sells music. Otherwise, one creates art to please only themselves.
And the other thing the old disc jockey knows is that sometimes, it’s multiple exposures to new music that makes it stick. The former marketer in me (more money in that than being a disc jockey) knows that one must be exposed multiple times in multiple ways to have it all stick.
Enough pontificating – back to Ms. Davis: this set features soaring, spot-on vocals in front of a group of talented pros, led by Grammy-nominated pianist Jovino Santos Neto – who knows when to shine, and when to get out of the way. The original pieces – three-fourths of the dozen tracks are topped by the final version of the title track, “Rearranged,” backed by the Sirius String Quartet.
Inspired arrangements and shimmering vocals make this an ambitious, perhaps audacious set that belongs in your collection.
I highly recommend this album.