Laika Fatien: You Turned the Tables On Me
You Turned the Tables On Me
Laika Fatien (vocals)
Misery: A Tribute to Billie Holiday (Blujazz 02)
Composed by Sidney Mitchell and Louis Alter.
Recorded: Paris, France, Feb. 2008
Rating: 94/100 (learn more)
Fatien's versions of "Strange Fruit" (see jazz.com review), "Don't Explain," "MIsery," "Left Alone," and especially "Gloomy Sunday" (sometimes known as the "Hungarian suicide song") all pack the kind of emotional wallop that Billie Holiday could so memorably and heartbreakingly deliver. Fatien's theatrical background no doubt helps her, on this tribute CD to Lady Day, to convincingly convey feelings of resignation, rejection, anguish, and more. Fatien's crystalline voice and precise articulation allow her to, as she has said, "express the text" and avoid "all sorts of effects and vocal acrobatics devoid of emotion."
The cheerful arrangement of "You Turned the Tables On Me" is a breath of fresh air in comparison to most of the other more downbeat treatments by Faiten and her backing group. That is, if you are not paying much attention to the lyrics, for there's no happy ending or resolution here. Fatien's bouncy, floating-on-air vocal captures the attitude of a woman simply dusting herself off and bravely moving on, all the wiser for an unfortunate experience partially her own doing. "But after thinking it over and over / I got what was coming to me / Just like the sting of a bee / You turned the tables on me." A seductive waltzing rhythm underlines Fatien's world-wise admissions, while Robert Glasper's lively piano solo seems to be looking ahead optimistically. Note how he skillfully mixes resounding chords, two-hand unison voicings, and prancing single-note lines. He and Fatien make quite a musical pairing.
Reviewer: Scott Albin