The FVE have a DVD! Read on…

Fay Victor Ensemble DVD Reviewed in the DMG Music Gallery Newsletter

In April 2008, the Fay Victor Ensemble went on tour for the first time, performing a couple gigs Upstate New York.  One of the venues,  The Sanctuary for Independent Media,  in Troy, NY, offered the opportunity to record a DVD of the performance alongside the gig.  This was great news! The venue ended up received a grant for a 13-part series of jazz performance entitled Free Jazz from the Sanctuary videos featuring some of the world’s most talented improvisers such as Mary Halvorson, Taylor Ho Bynum, Amiri Baraka, William Hooker,  Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and the Fay Victor Ensemble.  Those DVD’s are available for sale at the Downtown Music Gallery and Bruce Gallanter wrote a review of the DVD in the store’s latest newsletter:

FAY VICTOR ENSEMBLE With ANDERS NILSSON/KEN FILIANO/MICHAEL THOMPSON –
Live At The Sanctuary [DVD] (MediaSanctuary; USA) Featuring Fay Victor/vocals, Anders Nilsson/guitar, Ken Filiano/double bass and Michael TA Thompson/drums.

When experimental jazz vocalist Fay Victor moved to NY a few years ago, little did I know that she would become a fave of those in the know from the downtown scene. I dig the way Fay starts off the first piece with a calm, enchanting solo vocal  intro. It does come from the long jazz vocal tradition of using your voice like an instrument before any recognizable words come it. Ms.Victor has chosen an excellent group of collaborators to work with. You can’t do too much better than Anders Nilsson, Ken Filiano & Michael Thompson. Fay occasionally reminds me of Betty Carter but perhaps goes a bit further out. Anders takes the first of a number of great guitar solos, fusion fans take note: he is the real thing with that swell sustained tone yet never overshadows Fay’s steamy voice. The guitar/bass/drums trio do a splendid job of surrounding and supporting Fay’s voice perfectly throughout this entire set.

Ander’s opening unaccompanied guitar solo on “Joe’s Car” is breathtaking and a  great way to begin this fine piece. Fay’s songs always tell little stories that are interesting to consider. The ever-amazing bassist Ken Filiano sounds wonderful and of course takes a couple of extraordinary solos as well. I dig the way Fay captures the old sound/style of jazz singers of yesteryear but still brings this sound to the present and future with advanced music and lyrics. I like the way the drums and bass kick off “Along the Winding Way” with a spacious freer intro before the voice and guitar come back in. In a few ways this is a perfect set that presents Fay Victor and her band in the best light.
Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

DVD  $15

**For ordering and more, click here.
**More info on the Sanctuary for Independent Media and Free Jazz from the Sanctuary series including the other artists involved, click here

Looking back and forward

Dear Friends,

Happy September to you.  This time of year tends to be filled with summer  shutting down and life revving up for the cold and all the activities swirling around it.  Kids go back to school, life resumes a  cold-world order and I do hope a relaxing summer sets a precedent for you to ride out the rest of the year.  Have I had a relaxing summer?  Absolutely not! Yet I feel so invigorated and grateful for the enriching summer that I had.   I’m using the remaining days to take in a dose to get me through this next period which  is chock full of  activities and its inherent stresses.  But more on that later in this note!  First I’d like to share just a bit about my summer and the riches procured because.

Back

I had the honor  to perform at The Stone in NYC three times this summer as a bandleader.  First in July, Brandon Ross curated and asked the Fay Victor Ensemble to take part.  It wasn’t our best gig but the thrill of playing in here and directing the sound in my own way for the first time was exhilarating and the set the course for the two concerts to follow in August under Tyshawn Sorey’s curator-ship of the space.  First in August, the ExPosed Blues Duo (with guitarist Anders Nilsson) with Tomas Ulrich on cello. We did about 5 tunes in the space of an hour, stretching, chanting, wailing, screeching, straight-beseeching the blues and her cousins in this space…where you could hear a pin drop throughout.  So intense was this thing.  I’d been thinking about cello and the blues for a while and this union was a match made in purgatory, alongside Anders’ dirty guitar. We’ll work it again in October, close to Halloween when these sounds will resonate even more with the times. Perhaps you can join us and I’ll post something on the myspace page from the Stone gig at www.myspace.com/exposedbluesproject very, very soon.

The last concert at the Stone was with trombonist Roswell Rudd and Tyshawn Sorey, performing pieces of mine, Herbie Nichols and a snippet of a bigger project around haikus. Mind altering, life changing and challenging as hell, this was a meeting of the minds and a collaboration with space shifters and openers. I could breathe tons of air with the molecules left bare.  Space is the place.  Sun Ra said it and now I get it and I want more of THAT.

Moreover, I began curating a left-of-center vocal series at the Local 269 with Arts for Art, inc./RUCMA in August as well, that has already had some memorable performances.  This is a dream of mine to present vocalists doing original, experimental and distinct work in a venue that is open to this presentation.  The Evolving Voice Vocal Series is all about casting a spotlight on vocalists with idiosyncratic styles and on the more experimental side of the music.  Patricia Nicholson Parker and I are curating the series and we’re delighted to be involved in highlighting what we consider to be an under-served side of the scene. Keep up with the schedule at www.myspace.com/rucmanyc and rucma.org.  Questions, suggestions, booking for the series? Please get in touch at evolvingvoice@gmail.com. Coming this month on the Series:  Lisa Sokolov, Leena Conquest, Gina Leishman, Ellen Christi, Yoon Sun Choi and Dean Bowman!!

The FreeSong Suite

As I have been sneezing, and hinting at for the past couple months  – The  Fay Victor Ensemble is about to release our new record, The FreeSong Suite on September 22, 2009.  So excited about this record and presenting to the world the evolution of the FVE and our approach to creative vocal music that we think is as accessible as it is challenging. So interested in how folks will take the music and looking forward to lots of feedback and discussion about it too. Legendary and eminent guitarist Gary Lucas wrote the liner notes and mentions that the record is “…hypnotic in its flow, every song in the three sections of the suite a masterpiece of compressed story-telling…”. We’re celebrating on the first day of October at Roulette.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2009
Fay Victor Ensemble CD Release “The FreeSong Suite”

FV-voice, compositions
Anders Nilsson-guitar, effects
Ken Filiano-bass, effects
Michael ‘TA’ Thompson-drums

8:30PM
Roulette 20 Greene Street
(between Canal and Grand Streets)
NY, NY
Reservations/Tickets: 212.219.8242
Admission: $15 Harvestworks & DTW members, Students, Under 30 & Seniors: $10
Roulette members / Location One members: FREE.
www.roulette.org

The FreeSong Suite is a recommended New Release in AAJ-NY
-Laurence Donahue-Greene, Managing Editor
September 2009 AAJ-NY

The FreeSong Suite Contest!

Now for some fun.  I’m giving away 3 copies of the FreeSong Suite!  How cool is that?
Here’s the deal:

The FreeSong Suite is divided into three parts or ‘rooms’.
Each room has a number; which are related to real things.
Take a stab at what they mean and if you come close, you’ll win a free copy of the FreeSong Suite!

Here are the room numbers:

1407

1093

1310

All entries for consideration should send their guesses to ecru_sitges@yahoo.com By September 21st, 2009.

Moving Forward

I am happy to announce that my husband Jochem van Dijk has composed  a site specific piece in commemoration of Henry Hudson’s ride up the Hudson River. His pocket oratorio (with libretto by Gerhardus van Wilgen) will be performed by three decidedly non-Dutch but definitely immigrant vocalists: Kyoko Kitamura, Yoon Sun Choi and myself alongside Tomas Ulrich on cello.  This is an exciting development for the a cappela vocal quartet  (sans Jen Shyu, on tour in the Far East) to perform  in one of the most glorious spaces in the DIA Museum in Beacon, NY – the Chamberlain room of sculptures made of salvaged automobiles.

And on September 28th,  my great friend and saxophonist Oleg Kireyev is visiting New York City and he’ll join me at the 55Bar for the Early Set alongside Hill Greene and Dom Minasi.  I’m pulling out my standards for this one but we’ll veer off into strange places as well.

Lots more coming in October with the FreeSong Suite CD Release here in NYC and on October 4th in Philadelphia, PA  at the Rotunda. Tell your Philly friends to come down and say hello.
Stay tuned for news on that + upcoming tour news for 2010 to boot.

Happy September indeed!
Fay

August 25, 2009 – Roswell Rudd/Tyshawn Sorey/Fay Victor – SAVE THE DATE

Upcoming performances……

TUESDAY, AUGUST 25 2009

Roswell Rudd/Tyshawn Sorey/Fay Victor

Crash, Braaaww, Thud, Aaaaah

FV-voice
Roswell Rudd-trombone
Tyshawn Sorey-drums, piano

The Stone

8PM Set
One Set Only

$20

Corner of Second Street and Avenue C
F, V Train to 2nd Avenue
www.thestonenyc.com

This is a once-in-a-lifetime trio with trombonist extraordinaire Roswell Rudd and the astonishing Tyshawn Sorey.  We’ll go  places keeping jazz as the starting point for many explorations. You can’t miss this.

The ExPosed Blues Duo meets Tomas Ulrich – Wednesday, August 12, 2009

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12 2009

The ExPosed Blues Duo meets Tomas Ulrich

FV-voice
Anders Nilsson-guitar
Tomas Ulrich-cello

The Exposed Blues Duo adds cello and fire to an already simmering cauldron.
10PM Set
$10 Cover
All happening @ THE STONE
Corner of Second Street and Avenue C
F, V Train to 2nd Avenue
www.thestonenyc.com

Hear some ExPosed Blues Duo Sounds:
www.myspace.com/exposedbluesproject

Slow Singing – Part One

I sing slow.  I really do.  No matter what the tempo or so…my aim is to make it sound even slower. In early July,  I had a duo gig with Dom Minasi at Le Grand Dakar in Brooklyn.  Dom is a great player with a penchant for fast runs and forward propulsive rhythm.  The opposite of my way of dealing with rhythmic phrasing when I sing.  I look for weird holes to accent in the music and it’s waaaaay behind the beat usually.  It does depend on what’s happening musically as well but.  generally I would say it’s the way I do things. ..and it’s funny that it developed this way.

When I started out I was part of a weekly vocal workshop at the Williamsburg Music Center  (Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY) run by bassist/guitarist Gerry Eastman.  After hanging out there for a couple of years religiously I managed to get a bit better so Gerry would have me sing a few tunes on some of his gigs.  He always complained about us vocalists and these ballads we loved to sing.  Some days the vocal workshop would sound like a long sad tale of unrequited love, repeated over and over again.

One night on one of these gigs, I decided I knew best and went and opened the set with a ballad. The audience was so kind and responded warmly.  They listened and when I was done, they applauded enthusiastically.  Gerry smiled the smile of a happy teacher and said “what’s the next tune you’d like to do?”

I said “My One and Only Love.”

He gave me a stern look “But you just did a ballad…didn’t you”

“yeah…but people dug it.  I think it it will work” I said

Chuckling, he said “Alright…My One and Only Love it is.”

I had the audience and the moment the intro was played, I saw their eyes glaze over  but I was adamant and sang  my little heart out. After the set ended  Gerry asked me if I noticed how everyone was eating, chewing and talking all over my shit and how the moment I did something more uptempo, the audience came back.  I noticed how they turned away.  I heard the clamor of silverware and loud conversation all over my shit as he said.  He went on to say that if you’re going to sing anything  slow tune…it has to say something. It can’t just be pretty or about just hitting the notes.  What are you saying

That day and that discussion had me busy for quite a while. I also had trouble  singing uptempo tunes like “Cherokee” because I never could phrase things without sounding rushed.  It was an issue I battled with for a long time.  How to phrase lyrics so that they’re clearly understood while swinging at a uber-fast tempo.

My solution…pick the right tempo for what I want to say with the song. How to do that?  How do you know what is right.  How can you sing slow and hold an audiences attention.  What is so wonderful about singing slowere tempos in the first place.  What are some cool ways to figure out the tempo

August is BUSTING out all over: Upcoming Performances

Dear Friends,

With another birthday just behind me, I’m feeling good about the future and starting my new year strong. I have two amazing concerts this month and I”ll begin curating a Vocal Series in the city for the first time.

First up…about the gigs!  The inspiring and amazing Tyshawn Sorey is curating the Stone in August and I feel fortunate to perform there as part of his month long residency. Tyshawn has programmed a great month of music with folks like Matana Roberts, Vijay Iyer, Okkyung Lee, Craig Taborn and groups such as Fieldwork, BassDrumBone + Tyshawn himself in all sorts of creative configurations.  I’ll be hovering around the place myself this month with the fantastic line-up he’s put together.  Get all those details here www.thestonenyc.com

On Wednesday, August 12, I’m at the Stone with the Exposed Blues Duo/Tomas Ulrich Meeting of blues and the abstract strings for the 10PM set…then on Tuesday, August 25, a very special concert indeed with Tyshawn Sorey himself and legendary trombonist Roswell Rudd for the 8PM Set! Please come out for these very special performances.

On top of all that, August also kicks off a new vocal series I’ll co-curate (alongside Patricia Nicholson Parker) at the Local 269 called the Evolving Voice Vocal Series.  The series, presented by Arts for Arts & RUCMA, will run onTuesdays starting tomorrow August 4, 2009 with spoken word artist Juju Seahorse and KJ Denhert!   Look for performances by stupendous vocalists such as Ellen Christie, Jen Shyu, Gina Leishman, Dean Bowman, Leena Conquest, Kyoko Kitamura and more in September and beyond.

How is life and the summer treating you?

Fay

www.fayvictor.com
www.myspace.com/exposedbluesproject

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12 2009

The ExPosed Blues Duo meets Tomas Ulrich

FV-voice
Anders Nilsson-guitar
Tomas Ulrich-cello

The Exposed Blues Duo adds cello and fire to an already simmering cauldron.

10PM Set
$10 Cover

TUESDAY, AUGUST 25 2009

Crash, Braaaww, Thud, Aaaaah

FV-voice
Roswell Rudd-trombone
Tyshawn Sorey-drums, piano

8PM Set
$20 Cover

Join us for the world-premiere of this special trio!

All happening @ THE STONE
Corner of Second Street and Avenue C

F, V Train to 2nd Avenue
www.thestonenyc.com

STARTING AUGUST 4, 2009

**The Evolving Voice Vocal Series **
Presented by: Arts for Arts and RUCMA

6:30 – 9:00PM EVERY TUESDAY
$10 Cover per Set

THE LOCAL 269

269 E. Houston Street (corner of Suffolk Street)
Fun and funky bar atmosphere with great drinks and a hip vibe.
F, V to 2nd Avenue

http://rucma.org
http://myspace.com/rucmanyc

Evolving Voice Vocal Series @ the Local 269

Dear Friends and Music lovers,

I am happy to announce the start of a vocal series at the Local 269 in the Lower East Side.  Starting this coming Tuesday, August 4th 2009 this weekly series will casts a spotlight on vocalists with idiosyncratic styles and on the more experimental side of the music called the Evolving Voice Vocal Series.  Patricia Nicholson Parker and I will be curating the series and we’re both excited to be involved in highlighting what we both consider to be an under-served side of the scene.

There are many vocalists intent on developing their voices and conceptual approach to their own music.  I hope to have many of them on this series and we’re not off to a bad start.  The series opens with poet and spoken word artist Juju Harding and vocalist/individualist/extraordinaire KJ Denhert on August 4th.  Keep in touch with the series schedule here.  Coming up in the series are vocalists such as Lisa Sokolov, Ellen Christie, Dean Bowman, Kyoko Kitamura, Leena Conquest and much more. Come out and support the series and these great vocalists.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

**Evolving Voice Vocal Series **
6:30 – 9:00PM EVERY TUESDAY

$10 Cover Per Set

THE LOCAL 269 – 269 E. Houston Street Corner of Suffolk Street

Fun and funky bar atmosphere with great drinks and a hip vibe.
Subway: F/V to 2nd Avenue

TUESDAY, August 4th, 2009

6:30 PM
Paul Harding-voice, words
Juju Seahorse
Hill Greene- bass
Joe Ford- saxophones
Trevor Holder- drums
Andre LaSalle- guitar

8:00PM
KJ Denhert Group
KJ Denhert is a unique artist, singer, guitarist and songwriter who calls her music Urban Folk and Jazz. Her voice is powerful; her lyrics full of intelligence and insight; and her musicianship is impeccable. Her eclectic yet unified performances reach many different audience types without compromising her music or her beliefs. She is heard at her best on her most recent recording, Dal Vivo a Umbrai Jazz and is known to be especially good live. She is both highly individual and quite accessible.

Upcoming @ Evolving Voice
TUESDAY, August 11th, 2009

8:00PM
Steve Dalachinsky – words
with:
Albey Balgochian’s Bassentric:
Lisle Ellis…bass
Mike Bisio…bass
Albey Balgochian…bass


TUESDAY, August 25th, 2009

6:30PM
Andrea Wolper-vocals
Adam Caine – Electric guitar
Fung Chern Hwei – Violin
Ken Yamazaki – Percussion
“This somewhat unusual combination of voices creates textures and rhythms as foundations for solo flights and text”
www.andreawolper.com

8:00
PM
Lola Danza-Voice
Daniel Carter – Reeds
John Lockwood- Bass
Tony Falco- Drums
www.loladanza.com

Thank you.
www.rucma.org
www.myspace.com/rucma

The Fay Victor Ensemble @ The Stone July 15, 2009

Next Wednesday The Fay Victor Ensemble will have our debut performance at John Zorn’s space the Stone!  The monthly revolving curatorial system keeps the venue and the programming fresh and guitarist Brandon Ross is curating this month and invited the FVE to take part. We’re thrilled and I hope you will join us.

We’ll perform music from our upcoming  release,  The FreeSong Suite and unleash our wacky, witty strange show with lots for you to enjoy.  The details are below.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 15 2009

The Fay Victor Ensemble

FV-voice
Anders Nilsson-guitar
Ken Filiano-bass
Michael TA Thompson-drums

The Stone
10PM Set
One Set Only

$10 Cover

Corner of Second Street and Avenue C
F,V Train to 2nd Avenue
www.thestonenyc.com

This is an amazing month of music too!  Check out the calendar to see when folks like Meshell Ndegocello, Lizz Wright, Vijay Iyer, Myra Melford, Mark Taylor and Duck Baker just for starters…


Like Water for Chocolate

I had the quietest 4th of July holiday in recent memory.  Life has been so hectic and chaotic of late that having a couple days to do nothing was perfect.  The idea of heading to someones BBQ, the least appealing in recent memory.  The only problem is my husband and I  are a restless pair, not too content to stay motionless for long.  I try, he tries..I manage when I meditate and that took years to get to.

So we ended up doing a couple things anyway.  One of those was to head out to Coney Island yesterday morning to hear the water.  Jochem had never been there before and I had been talking about this pier that I love.

There is a pier for fishing that juts way out into New York Bay.  Only fisherman hang there non-stop.  It’s boring and quiet and since you’re in the middle of the bay the water’s ebb and flow is tranquil as well before they push forth to become soft waves later at the shore.

I stood there for a long time, eyes closed listening to the water and knew I have to  live closer to water somehow or come here more often to listen to the Bay sway back and forth.  Coming up with melodies as natural as the light dancing off the water and re-affirming the importance of listening again.  Listening intently to what is around.  To  slow down. It didn’t take long to feel that way.

Infrequent Seams w/Dom Minasi – July 2, 2009

Dear Friends,

Tonight, guitar great Dom Minasi and myself will perform together for the first time as part of James Ilgenfritz’ Infrequent Seams Series! Come down to Brooklyn and have some happening Senegelese food and enjoy the music with us at Le Grand Dakar. Music starts @8PM.

The Infrequent Seams Series @ Le Grand Dakar
THURSDAY, July 2 2009

FV – voice
Dom Minasi – guitar

Exploring voice, guitar and standards

Le Grand Dakar
285 Grand Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
http://www.granddakar.com

http://myspace.com/infrequentseams
G Train to Classon Avenue

Upcoming:

The Fay Victor Ensemble
WEDNESDAY July 15, 2009

FV-voice
Anders Nilsson-guitar
Ken Filiano-bass
Michael TA Thompson-drums

@ The Stone
www.thestonenyc.com

10PM Set
One Set Only