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Album Review

ICP & Patrucco, Alessandra – “Circus ” – [Icp]

Thurston Hunger   4/5/2007   A Library, CD

Maybe this should be filed under Alessandra Patrucco foremost. She is
dominant on this release (as a jazz vocalist often can be) and she is the
one instant composer connecting all nine tracks. I had never heard of her
before, but evidently she has worked as a singing clown in Italy which
makes plenty of sense as an apprenticeship to working with this orchestra
(as opposed to many others). Her vocal acrobatics display multilingual
(and protolingual) capabilites, her mouth is multijointed. The lead off
blast is a short rocket fueled by the ageless Han Bennink, and Patrucco
sliding like a theremin. Operatic oddities pop up on #3, she wail-sails
over Misha Mengelberg’s crazy croon on #6 (maybe a reference to Tre
Martelli?? or maybe just an instant lullaby at the end??). Things get
real clowny on #8, which is called “Toddling” and reinforces my notion
that a lot of improv/jazz/avant/etc. vocalists are people who remember
being kids making weird noises. A staple of child chirping leads off
#2…clucking and popping, by that track’s end Patrucco is lost in her
own supermarket. Tracks four and seven work a more gossamer and less
goofballolicious, could hear them up against some of the wispier folk
pieces these days.

-Thurston Hunger

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