Lorraine Feather explores romance with the aptly titled, Flirting
With Disaster (Jazzed Media, 2015).
Musicians performing on selected tracks are Russell Ferrante, piano and
arranger; Shelly Berg, piano and arranger; Dave Grusin, piano and
arranger; Michael Valerio, bass; Grant Geissman, guitar; Eddie Arkin,
guitar and arranger; Michael Shapiro, drums; Gregg Field, drums; Carlos
Del Rosario, percussion on “Wait for It”; Charles Bisharat, violin; and
Yutaka Yokokura, additional vocals on “Feels Like Snow.”
The title song, with music by Arkin and lyrics by Feather, is a
surprisingly upbeat tune. Ferrante’s piano and Geissman’s guitar effects
give the song a haunting, ethereal element. Bisharat’s solo is brief but
fiery. Feather sings of an attraction, giving in to one’s passion,
knowing that the individual probably will be swept away, and possibly
lose a bit of self, but in the moment, not caring. Voice and instruments
complement one another well, making this something of a symphony.
“Off-Center” is a slow, bluesy song. Arkin handles the acoustic guitar
on this track. Feather sings of a relationship that always seems to have
some quirk that makes things a bit unbalanaced. A couple that’s not
quite in sync. The music has a classic, film noir vibe.
“Wait For It” is a reinvention of Grusin’s “Bossa Baroque.” While the
pianist plays his familiar melody, Feather sings her lyrics to a
different counter-melody during the verses. Then she shifts to Grusin’s
theme during the chorus, which has a strong, bossa nova quality –
perhaps a bit more so than Grusin’s original.
Flirting With Disaster is distinctive in two ways. One, the
lyrics are original, which audiences don’t always get with vocalists.
Two, the entire set is built around romance and the risks that come with
it. Feather says she had never done an album that had a tagline. For
this one, the line is, “Any time you fall in love, you’re flirting with
disaster.” The release follows three consecutive Grammy-nominated
recordings, and is Feather’s 11th album. Feather penned all 11 tracks,
in collaboration with Arkin (four), Ferrante (three), Berg (two) and
Grusin (two). The daughter of Leonard Feather and goddaughter of Billie
Holiday, Lorraine Feather has been heard on numerous records, in films
and on television. Among her screen credits are Disney’s Dinosaurs,
The Jungle Book 2 and The Princess Diaries 2; MGM’s
All Dogs Go to Heaven and Babes and Toyland; and Hasbro’s
Candy Land and My Little Pony. Her work as a lyricist
has earned seven Emmy nominations.
The CD includes a booklet that has lyrics to all 11 songs, and Feather’s
commentary on each track.