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Leigh Harris - House of Secrets (1999)

Jazz, Blues, Pop | Author: artmuss | 29-01-2019, 21:20
Leigh Harris - House of Secrets (1999)Artist: Leigh Harris
Title Of Album: House of Secrets
Year Of Release: 1999
Label (Catalog#): 10 Birds [TB1123]
Country: United States
Genre: Vocal Pop Jazz, Blues
Quality: FLAC (*tracks,cue,log)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 52:24
Full Size: 285 mb

Very intimate, artfully breathing life into a program of different selections including songs by Doc Pomus, Brian Wilson, Jagger-Richards, Ray Davies, and herself.

On House of Secrets, New Orleans native Leigh Harris brilliantly explores her hometown's love of melodic song and dramatic presentation, turning what might otherwise be a folk-oriented set of emotion-laden originals and cleverly chosen covers into a lights-down-low, saloon singer's delight. A prime example is her take on "Backstreet Girl" from the Rolling Stones' songbook, opening with only vocal and piano as the arrangement adds layers selectively, first form a pair of accordions, then a vocal chorus, finally building to a peak of full-bodied intensity briefly, before letting it all wash away. The effect is haunting, reminiscent of a French cabaret singer.

Blessed with a powerful voice capable of evoking strong emotions even at its quietest, Harris caresses each literate, languid selection with an impressive range of supple vocal chops, from intimate whispers to plaintive bright shouts, while co-producer Mark Bingham, a key institution on the equally thoughtful Yockamo All-Stars project, concentrates on selective effects that emphasize the variety of distinctive voices available in contemporary New Orleans, from the rocketing eruptions of the Wild Magnolias June Yamagichi to the balladic embellishments of Gen-X trumpter Jeremy Davenport.

The repetoire includes a trio of declarations of longing written by Harris ("Telephone Sleeping in my Bed", "Crazy Mirrors", "Midnight Star"), a pair of compositions exploring absence("Like a Ghost", "Incommunicado") by longtime collaborator John Magnie,and two selections from other writers ("paint This Town", "Evening in Paradise")that color the overriding sense of longing with unmistakable melancholy.Adding unconventional cover choices (including The Beach Boys "Caroline No" and the Kinks' "Oklahoma USA")provides a wistful, ironic counterbalance of humor, while a Hammond B3-saturated composition by Doc Pomus, "Devil Jumped a Rabbit" early in the program and a final, undocumented track,"Working on a Building",complete with wailing gospel choir, help to connect the whole to the Southern tradition of blues and spirituals.

...Harris has re-invented herself and the American singer-songwriter tradition by incorporating a completely natural, European sensibility. Casting herself in the surprising, and wholly satisfying, role of a Delta version of Edith Piaf, Harris offers us one of the year's most inventive tributes to the power of song and a new appreciation for the richness of New Orleans' musical legacy.


1. Like A Ghost
2. Incommunicado
3. Paint This Town
4. Devil Jumped a Rabbit
5. Backstreet Girl
6. Telephone Sleeping in My Bed
7. Evening in Paradise
8. Caroline No
9. Crazy Mirrors
10. Oklahoma USA
11. Midnight Star
12. Working on a Building



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