June 2005

Lorraine Feather
Dooji Wooji

Ever since the 2001 release of her Fats Waller-themed New York City Drag, Lorraine Feather has remained the traffic cop at the intersection of uninhibited inspiration and joyous musical fun. Indeed, after last year's brilliant sojourn through Ellingtonia with the dazzling Such Sweet Thunder, it's hard to imagine Feather outdoing the creative voodoo she's summoned thus far. Hard, that is, until you wade into Dooji Wooji (Sanctuary) and hear her conjure a dozen new magical flights of fancy, including four more Ellington reinventions that, due to licensing issues, couldn't be included on Thunder.

How can you not love the comically rhythmic roadmap that is her "I Know the Way to Brooklyn" or be enchanted by the faux sophistication of her "On the Esplanade" or luxuriate in the warm rays of her brilliance as she tucks every known Hawaiian musical cliche into her cheek as she transforms the Ellington title tune into "Sweet Honolulu"? As Feather proves for the fourth time, she is the one-woman jazz equivalent of Extreme Makeover-a lyrical Ty Pennington tricked out in Dorothy Parker drag.

Originally published in June 2005
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