Nancy_harrow-marble_faun_span3
December 1999

Nancy Harrow
The Marble Faun
Harbinger

Singer-composer-lyricist Nancy Harrow continues her musical exploration of American literature, begun with her 1994 adaptation of Willa Cather's novella, A Lost Lady, in this song cycle based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's last novel, The Marble Faun. Although billed as "Jazz Variations on a Theme By Hawthorne," there's minimal jazz content in the vocals (by Harrow, her son Anton Krukowski, Grady Tate, and Amy London) or in the 13-piece instrumental ensemble backing, despite the participation of pianist-arranger Sir Roland Hanna, saxophonist Frank Wess and guitarist Jack Wilkins. Although Harrow's desire to make a fresh contribution to the stagnant jazz vocal repertoire is admirable, her undistinguished melodies, thudding rhymes ("Come down from the tower, Donatello/ You used to be such a hale fellow") and pinched, nasal singing fail to capture the spirit of Hawthorne's symbolic tale about artistic American innocents confronting passion and murder in Italy.

Originally published in December 1999
BUY THIS ALBUM from Amazon.com
STREAM THIS CD from Rhapsody.com

Add a Comment

You need to log in to comment on this article. No account? No problem!