Mean Fiddler Presents Inara George and Van Dyke Parks

Mean Fiddler in association with Mojo Club are pleased to announce a rare and intimate London concert from the Californian-based singer-songwriter Inara George and the legendary Van Dyke Parks at the Jazz Café on Sunday 23rd November. The prestigious Jazz Café concert is the only UK engagement.

The concert showcases music from Inara's recent studio album An Invitation; an intimate collaboration between Inara and legendary arranger Van Dyke Parks. The result is a lush, elegant, fully orchestrated song cycle, a catalog of experiences equally inspired by the sophistication of Frank Sinatra and the storied, cinematic wonder of Richard Sherman's oeuvre.

Inara's father, Little Feat front man Lowell George, and Van Dyke were great friends and collaborators. When Inara was born in 1974 in Baltimore, Maryland (where her family had come for her birth while Little Feat recorded Feats Don't Fail Me Now) Van Dyke was there to welcome her into the world. After the death of her father in 1979, Inara and Van Dyke kept in touch.
As Inara began to forge her way into a musical career as a gifted singer-songwriter in her own right, Van Dyke was always close at hand to offer sage advice and encouragement. For both, there was a real desire for some kind of collaboration.

In the past few years Inara has found her stride as a member of the band The Bird and the Bee (on Blue Note Records) and with the release of her first solo album, All Rise, (on Everloving Records). Both projects caught the attention of critics worldwide. And as Inara began preparations to record her second solo album, an opportunity emerged for her and Van Dyke to join forces.

In 2002, Inara introduced Van Dyke to Mike Andrews, producer of All Rise and An Invitation. Mike was impressed by Van Dyke's work with The Beach Boys, Harry Nilsson, The Byrds, and Joanna Newsom, and had always hoped to engage his arranging abilities on Inara's next record. Van Dyke was brought on board, and after months of preparation, the orchestra was recorded at Sunset Sound studios in Los Angeles.

"There are different characters in each piece, but it all feels like a connected event, " says Van Dyke. "There are certainly different scenes on the record, and that's what I like. It takes real talent, as a writer, to fictionalize a reality the way Inara has done."

An Invitation begins with an overture, echoing the sun-dappled landscapes of Aaron Copeland, filtered through the widescreen lens of Van Dyke's neoclassicist sensibility. Inara's voice enters in the second track, Right As Wrong, on a cloud of hushed strings, and carries the record through a series of vignettes that contrast the smoky poise of Chet Baker and Kurt Weill with the wide-eyed optimism of Leonard Bernstein.

Van Dyke's cerebral, if not psychedelic arrangements, twist the music into multiple directions at once, a swirling canvas suspended over the sonic mantelpiece of Inara's songs.

What promises to be both bewitching and exhilarating, the coupling of Inara George and the legendary Van Dyke Parks at the Jazz Café, is musical event not to be missed.

write your comments about the article :: © 2008 Jazz News :: home page