Andrea Fultz: The German Projekt German Songs from the Twenties and Thirties (2010)
Typical is the opening track, "Alabama Song" from Brecht-Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, first heard by many Americans via The Doors. It's a cynical, sexy and crypto-romantic piece Fultz seizes unreservedly, chiseling each note with her full-throated soprano. Here and throughout, pianist Adam Shulman, percussionist Mica Patri and accordionist Rob Reich create a raucously effective atmosphere.
Understanding German is not essential to appreciating Hollander's contemplative, "Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte." It's an intense, heartfelt duet between singing actress and pianist considering wishes that cannot be. By contrast there's Pirate Jenny's song, one of several gems from The Threepenny Opera. A revenge fantasy of an oppressed servant, Fultz' delivery is clear-eyed and ultimately jubilantly murderous. The only overtly political piece in the set, "Song of A German Mother" by Hanns Eisler and Eric Bentley, is a scathing ode to a son killed in war.
This group creates a world of its own in this collection that is seedy, sensual, insolent, filled with chipped and cheap sentiment, gritty and utterly compelling. It is its own singular jazz idiom, one as rich, distinctive and as enduring in its veracity as say the Dixieland that once emerged from New Orleans.
Track Listing: Alabama Song; Bilbao Song; Johnny; Ich bin von Kop bis Fuss auf Liebe eingesfellt; Denn wie man sich bbettet so liegt man; Wenn ich mir was wunschwen durfte; Barbara Song; Seerauber Jenny; Song of a German Mother; Surabaya Johnny; Mackie Messer; Kinder; heut Abend da such ich mir was aus.
Personnel: Andrea Fultz: vocals; Micha Patri: percussion; Adam Shulman: piano; Dina Maccabee: violin; Rob Reich: accordion; Eugene Warren: bass.
Record Label: Self Produced
Style: Fringes of Jazz