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Fay Victor: Lazy Old Sun

Perhaps it’s something in the Amsterdam air, but New York-born Nether-lands resident Fay Victor has also been busily digging into the pop-rock songbook. On her American debut, Lazy Old Sun (Greene Ave.), Victor, a boldly inventive Betty Carter-Billie Holiday hybrid, opens with a languid reading of Ray Davies’ title tune (a minor hit for the Kinks in 1967), segues into an enticingly discordant treatment of the Doors’ “People Are Strange” and finishes her 11-track set (there’s a secret, unbridled bonus recording of Curtis Mayfield’s buoyant “Check Out Your Mind”) with a funkified, scat-fueled version of Randy Newman’s inky “Last Night I Had a Dream.” In between, the tremendously versatile Victor takes off in all sorts of curiously exciting directions, adding her own English lyrics to Sonny Rollins’ “Way Out West” and Jackie McLean’s “Saturday and Sunday,” running icy fingers down the spine of Johnny Mercer and David Raksin’s misty “Laura,” flying high on Jochem van Dijk’s charming tale of enchanted horseback rider “Nico” and teaming with van Dijk for a trio of new compositions, including the restful, winged “Stealaway.” Lazy Old Sun may be a little to outre to earn Victor much mainstream attention or airplay. For the adventurous, though, she’s a real find, a true original.

Originally Published