New Patricia Barber cd "Mythology"

Brand new. It came out today.
Anyone check it out yet? Any opinions?
That should read "Mythologies"...

Got a good review (4.5 stars) and an AMG Album Pick. AMG Review

Should be an interesting listen.
No, but thank you for the heads up!*>)
Ordered, and am eagerly awaiting, a copy from Barber's website.
1markr, you're right...."Mythologies" are you buying it?

There are tracks that were previously heard - "The Moon" from Verse and "Whiteworld" from "A Fortnight in France".

I bought the disc yesterday. Have to listen to it few more times but so far it's a little below my expectations.
I don't think this is as good as she can be. But that's just an initial impression.
Few more listens and this recording may start growing on me...
A1, I'll see what the feedback on the album comes out to be. I currently have a "wanted" for it on, or I might pick it up cheaply on when it shows there. I'm in no hurry to get it...yet.
This disk a a true celebration of the depth of Patricia's talent. Below is the copy on what instigated this music. A Guggenheim Fellowship, how heady is that? And to think, we knew her when...

"In 2003, acclaimed singer-pianist Patricia Barber became the only songwriter ever to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and she took the opportunity to create one of the most ambitious and affecting works of her career. Embarking on a bold, exciting musical adventure, Barber brings her compositional sophistication to new heights with Mythologies, a song cycle based on Greek mythology where each of the 11 mythological characters in Ovid’s Metamorphoses is fleshed out in music."
taken from
Audphile1, I agree with you %100. She is a extremely talented singer but her choice of songs has my head shaking. Many of the songs are reruns. Cafe Blues had the energy
08-16-06: Jadem6
This disk a a true celebration of the depth of Patricia's talent.
J.D. this statement above that you're making based on your listening impressions or is it a quote from a review?

I'm no music critic by any means, and this is just my opinion, but when I was listening to this disc last night I thought that some of the songs are a bit more commercial than one would typically expect from PB...or may be I just got used to her style and now it seems that way....don't know. Or she was trying to appeal to everyone with this recording and not just her fans?

Musical arrangements on this disc just don't seem to be as innovative, rich and complex as some on her other albums.

In any case, I do like "The Moon" and "Whiteworld".

Just interesting to see what people think about this album.
I buy my music from CD Connection, an on-line music store that has a huge selection of domestic and imports always the cheapest prices. Often a single disk will have three, four or more different pressings. I tell you this because they are amazingly slow at processing orders, but I saved four dollars off Patricia’s web site price. Not only am I looking for a bargain, but I use turtle express, aka, ground delivery.Therefore I will not get my copy until Friday or Monday. So I have not heard the music…

As for dear Patricia’s musical choices on her latest releases, I have not been a huge fan of the direction she has taken herself. I love Café Blue, Modern Cool, Distortion of Love and Split in that order. I do like some of the poetry in Verse, but I see this as poetry not music.

Back in the day she composed some of the most beautiful cords on the piano, and she pushed the envelope of her vocal extremes. These two attributes combined to be for me, the most creative work of their time. Lately she seems to have lost her ambition to explore the piano, and rather wishes to compose word groupings. This is a fine pursuit of the Arts, just not my cup of tea.

Sadly she continues down the road far too many very creative jazz musicians follow. Her mind is somewhere I no longer wish to follow. I still support her as I purchase every disk she releases, partly hoping for music again some day in the future. As she wanders the journey of eclectic jazz fusion, she is losing much of the support we early adopters gave her.

The reason I pointed out the Guggenheim Fellowship, is my personal respect for The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the legacy the Guggenheim family leaves. The foundation was set up by Senator Simon Guggenheim in the memory of his son John Simon who died as a teen. This was one of two sons that Senator and Mrs. Guggenheim lost while in their youth. I of course, as an Architect have great respect for the Solomon Guggenheims (the Senators brother) for allowing Frank Lloyd Wright the freedom to create one of the greatest pieces of architecture in history.

The following are excerpts from the Senator’s letter introduction the foundation;

“Promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding, and the appreciation of beauty, by aiding without distinction on account of race, color or creed, scholars, scientists and artists of either sex in the prosecution of their labors.. . . It is Mrs. Guggenheim's and my desire, in memory of our son, through the agency of this Foundation, to add to the educational, literary, artistic, and scientific power of this country, and also to provide for the cause of better international understanding."

"It is with no nationalist or propagandist intent that we desire to make available such assistance. Men and women devoted to pushing forward the boundaries of knowledge and to the creation of beauty, reared with the impress of the same republican institutions and principles of progress, must of necessity approach nearer and nearer together in scientific and artistic respect for each other's attainments and culture. There is, moreover, a republic of learning and art which knows no boundary lines, and we desire only that scholars and artists from the American republics should meet and learn and teach what to them is Truth. For better understanding among the citizens of the American republics nothing is needed but more knowledge--a knowledge of the other's culture that yields nothing in zeal for one's own." (Sorry about the history lesson)

Therefore my point is??? The honor of being the first songwriter to receive a tribute of such great magnitude is worthy of my respect. Patricia has clearly advanced her talents and has received the admiration of a great many people. I do not find her latest direction to my personal taste, but I respect her for continuing to explore her talent. A fellowship like this one may have provided her the opportunity to develop an area of her being that she felt important to discover.

Hopefully as she finds what she is looking for she will begin to perfect that which we all love. Piano composition and her immense vocal range are my favorite traits of hers. Her writing ability for poetry is beyond reproach and often entertaining as I pull out my dictionary to find the meaning of words I have never heard.

One thought to ponder… I have met and spoke privately with Patricia numerous times after shows in local clubs. She seems to need to personally supervise the packing up of her piano so she has a bit of time for anyone stupid enough to try and start up a conversation with her. Patricia is not highly gifted in personal communication. She is extremely uncomfortable with small talk, as am I. This leaves for a very awkward discussion. If I am poor at the art of chatter, she is ten times worse. This leaves me thinking she has a very limited social life. I believe she is very much about composing music and has a very limited life beyond that. I do not know this as a fact, but having met her on these occasions I would deduction she rarely allows herself to meet new people on a personal basis.

I bring this up because so many of my favorite writers like Lucinda Williams, Rosanna Cash, Kasey Chambers and the like write about life and the love, loss, joy and pain they encounter. It is this emotion I listen for in music and the reason I find such joy in having a stereo that is able to express these feelings do intensely. This is what the hobby is all about for me. Patricia rarely sings about life, and even more rarely about relationships. It is the lack of emotion and personality that continues to disappoint me in her music.

I believe she has reached a juncture, and until she learns how to live (meaning have life happen), she will continue stuck on the artistic road she travels. Given the person I have met, I often doubt she will develop this deeply missing piece of her music. If this is the case, she will continue to disappoint many of us audiophile. She is walking the road that apparently fits who she wants to explore. Let’s all hope she can move through this eclectic phase she has entered.

Jade, thanks. Right on!!!! Completely agree with you about "Verse". From a poetry stand point, it is really good. But musically it suffers a bit.

BTW, I'm going to see PB live at Jazz Standards in New York. I just hope that she will not do a complete performance of "Mythologies". I'm hoping she'll throw something else in the mix. I went to see her at Carnegie Hall last March and the performance was awesome. Beyond my expectations. What a band!!!

That is why I am completely surprised by the latest offering. I was listening to the "Mythologies" again, for the second time, and the effect is the same as the first time I heard it. Big surprise on track 10(I think) where the 2 kids rap the list of American endangered species.
And the band just sounds pretty ordinary to me on the entire CD.

I hope she gets back on track in the future and surprises us again with something on a level of "Moder Cool" or "Cafe Blue".

But again, you're correct when you say she's not the only artist this happened to. Another example I can think of is Sting.
Saw her Friday at Jazz Standard. We and the rest of the audience really liked what we heard. A true artist always risks venturing into new territory with work that will not be readily accepted by those who continue to want more of what's been done before.
I saw her Saturday at Jazz Standard!
Was good. She only did one song from her newest cd. They played a total of 7 songs, 4 of which were instrumental.

I wouldn't call her newest record "venturing into new territories". Unless you are talking about the hip-hop on track 10.
2 years later, the new CD. "The Cole Porter Mix", is out.

Any opinions? I just heard it for the first time today. I'll hold my comments for now. but do want to hear what others think.
I hope to be seeing Patricia in about two weeks, doing the Cole Porter set. She's stopping by locally & I think(?) I'll be getting a free ticket. Hope it comes to pass..I've ben wanting to see her for quite a while.