Patricia Barber: I Could Eat Your Words
I Could Eat Your Words
Patricia Barber (vocals, piano)
Verse (Blue Note 39856)
Neal Alger (guitar), Michael Aronpol (bass), Joey Baron (drums).
Composed by Patricia Barber.
Recorded: Chicago, February 10-14, 2002
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
A Chicago native, Patricia Barber still lives and works in the Windy City, despite her worldwide critical acclaim. With a dark voice and a wit to match, Barber takes a minimalist approach to her style, letting words and meaning sink in the listener’s brain. “I Could Eat Your Words” is a Barber original which tells of a student seducing her English professor over dinner. The lyrics are an absolute delight with a few words that will send the listener running for a dictionary. Of course, they are perfect for the setting as the student uses the professor’s own vocabulary as a weapon of seduction. Further, Barber mixes the worlds of food and language as in the delicious phrase, “season reason with a transitive verb”. Barber’s cool (but not detached) vocal conveys a sense of total control. Dave Douglas provides a subtle contrast with his wry trumpet solo filled with intriguing ideas and astounding note choices. Then, Barber takes a short piano solo which takes a single idea and moves it into different places in the rhythmic structure. Barber then returns for a final half-chorus and a very interesting tag line: “Baby, teach me tonight”. It is as if the student has succeeded in the seduction and is now willing to cede the power back to the professor.
Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe
Tags: jazz vocals