Patricia Barber Mythologies on Numbered Limited-Edition 180-gram 2-LP Set from Mobile Fidelity
Pioneering 2006 Album Re-imagines Ovid's "Metamorphoses"
MoFi's Half-Speed Mastered 2-LP Is a Sonic Knockout!
"A work of deep intelligence and no small beauty." --Boston Globe
Barber's Verse, Modern Cool, and The Cole Porter Mix Also Available on 180g LP from Mobile Fidelity
A singular jazz work, Patricia Barber’s groundbreaking Mythologies is the result of the pianist becoming the only singer-songwriter to ever win a Guggenheim Fellowship. Allowed the time to craft a sophisticated album, the ambitious 2006 set is without peer in any musical genre. A cycle based on Greek mythology and Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” Mythologies brings each of the eleven characters from Ovid’s play to life in song.
Accompanied by guitarist Michael Alger, bassist Michael Arnapol, and drummer Eric Montzka, and assisted by a few special guest background vocalists--including a children's choir--Barber has turned in one of the first legitimate masterworks of the new century.
“When Patricia Barber's Mythologies (Blue Note Records) appears in stores on Tuesday, listeners will hear a piece of music with no apparent model in jazz of the 20th Century (or the 21st). For though classically tinged jazz suites date back to at least Duke Ellington's Black, Brown and Beige (1943) and extend to epic works such as Charles Mingus' posthumously premiered Epitaph (1989) and Wynton Marsalis' Pulitzer Prize-winning Blood on the Fields (1997), Mythologies stands apart from such behemoths.”
–Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, August 2006
Lyrically addressing lovestruck emotions, insomnia, desires, risks, and more, Barber habitually turns conventions on their head. She matches her sonnets, double entendres, and fascinating narratives with music that’s at once seductive, sad, beautiful, and powerful. Intended to be listened to from start to finish, Mythologies comes off as a sonic cycle that traces life and death in an engrossingly imaginative fashion that’s on par with the classic Greek influences.
Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s numbered limited-edition 180-gram 2-LP set of Mythologies boasts astounding sonics. Every vocal delicacy and breathy aspect of Barber’s singing is fully audible, balanced, and gorgeously textured. Instrumental decay and acoustic details are suspended against a pitch-black background. Vocal jazz records don’t get better than this! Don’t settle for the standard CD version, which is robbed of much of the presence, richness, and atmosphere.
Be aware: Barber’s records are all audiophile favorites. Mobile Fidelity’s out-of-print 180-gram 45RPM LP box sets of the singer’s Premonition Records albums currently fetch upwards of $100 on eBay. Don’t be put in the position of paying a scalper’s price! Get the lowest-numbered pressings of Mythologies—and one of the last remaining half-speed mastered 45RPM 2-LP copies of Barber’s 2002 album Verse as well as the sumptuous 2-LP pressing of 2008's The Cole Porter Mix—by calling Music Direct now!
Patricia Barber Mythologies Track Listing:
1 The Moon
5 Icarus (for Nina Simone)
6 Orpheus/ Sonnet
9 Whiteworld/ Oedipus
11 The Hours