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Digital remaster of Patty Waters' '65 debut album, showing both sides of her vocal prowess as a sensitive ballad singer and an out and outrageous vocal improviser.

Waters, Patty

Waters, Patty: Sings (ESP)
Label: ESP    
Released in: USA    

"Patty Waters comes alive on this legendary 1965 debut. Sings features seven ballads and a shocking version of "Black Is The Colour Of My True Love's Hair". With Patty's moans, whispers, screams, and wails, this track helped cement her reputation as a vocal innovator, one whose influence extended beyond jazz to Yoko Ono and Diamanda Galas. Digitally remastered in digipak format, Sings will re-introduce the talents of this long-forgotten talent."-ESP

"Largely overlooked during her brief recording career in the mid-'60s, Patty Waters has come to be appreciated as a vocal innovator in not just jazz, but contemporary music as a whole. Much of her repertoire was given over to hushed piano solo ballads, in which her voice could fade to a whisper that was barely audible. What really attracted attention were her avant-garde outings, in which she stretched and mutated her voice with contorted shrieks and wails that could be downright blood-curdling. Producing an unsettling effect that is definitely not for everybody, Waters has to be acknowledged as a vocalist who has tested the limits of what the human voice is capable of, in a similar manner as fellow pioneers Joan LaBarbara and Yoko Ono.

Waters' early influences were the fairly conventional ones of Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson, and Anita O'Day. After moving to New York in the early '60s, she was heard in a nightclub by Albert Ayler, who recommended her to the renowned experimental jazz label ESP. The first side of her 1965 debut (Sings) was given over entirely to self-composed solo piano miniatures, leaving listeners somewhat unprepared for the second side, which consisted solely of her 13-minute interpretation of "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair." Building into hair-raising screams and vocal improvisations, augmented by a small, free jazz combo, it remains the performance for which she is most noted.

Waters, sadly, only recorded one more album, the live College Tour, just a few months later. A more determinedly avant-garde effort than her debut, it featured entirely different (and mostly self-composed) songs than her debut. Waters often eschewed words altogether for wordless moan-scats and wails, and opted for a fuller band backing, including appearances by pianists Ran Blake and Burton Greene. Aside from a subsequent appearance as a member of the Marzette Watts Ensemble on a 1968 LP, nothing else was heard from Waters on record until 1996. [...]"-Richie Unterberger, All Music

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Song Based Music
Quartet Recordings

Search for other titles on the ESP label.

Price: $13.95
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Product Information:

UPC: 825481010252

Label: ESP
Catalog ID: ESP 1025
Squidco Product Code: 11304

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded December 19, 1965 at RLA Sound Studios, NYC by Richard L. Alderson.


Patty Waters-vocals, piano

Burton Greene-piano, piano harp

Steve Tintweiss-bass

Tom Price-percussion

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Track Listing:

1. Moon, Don't Come Up Tonight 3:01

2. Why Can't I Come To You 2:53

3. You Thrill Me 1:22

4. Sad Am I, Glad Am I 1:26

5. Why is Love Such a Funny Thing 1:14

6. I Can't Forget You 1:50

7. You Loved Me 2:30

8. Black is The Color of My True Love's Hair 13:51