Fay Victor Chamber Trio
FV – voice, compositions
Marika Hughes (cello)
Darius Jones (alto saxophone)
In November 2019, vocalist/composer Fay Victor released BARN SONGS, her 10th release as a leader on Northern Spy Records. The album is comprised of original material written by Victor and husband Jochem van Dijk at the end of the 1990’s and recorded in a BARN in upstate New York, the starting place for a burgeoning residency and social justice center run by Marika Hughes. BARN SONGS has a unique instrumentation of voice, cello and alto sax, featuring the acclaimed cellist Marika Hughes (Hadestown, D’Angelo, 2 Foot Yard) and celebrated alto player Darius Jones (Darius Jones Trio, Little Women).
Fay’s need to resuscitate these compositions became clear during her monthly residency at the now closed 55 Bar in NYC where the trio began performing these older tunes back in 2015, exploring new possibilities for material written and recorded between 1999-2003. Tunes featured on earlier Fay Victor recordings such as Darker than Blue (Timeless Records BV, 2001) and Lazy Old Sun (Greene Ave Music, 2004). It felt necessary to re-record them in this new sound and the results are deeply compelling and heartfelt.
“Recorded at a barn in Upstate New York with just the alto saxophonist Darius Jones and the cellist Marika Hughes accompanying her, Fay Victor’s new album is a direct-delivery mechanism for her inimitable vocal style, which wriggles happily in the space between Off Off Broadway theatricality and casual transcendence. Jazz singers have always been asked to strike some balance between the proper and the personal, but Victor’s style is all hers: a mix of speech and song, words and abstraction, interior monologue and call-to-action. The pieces on the new disc, “Barn Songs,” were co-written by Victor and the bassist Jochem van Dijk, her husband. On “There They Are,” which closes the disc, lyrics about a simple pleasure — catching one’s own reflection in a puddle while biking down a wet road — give way to luminescent, wordless singing; Victor’s open vowels find harmonic resonance with Jones’s saxophone, swaying along to Hughes’s steady drift below.” – Gio Russonello, The New York Times (November 2019)