Patricia Barber, the performer known for boldly blurring the lines between poetry, jazz, and art song, has announced the forthcoming release of a new all-standards album Clique (Impex Records), due out August 6th in breathtaking hi-fi. The long-awaited successor to Nightclub, her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite first all-standards album, Clique features a tracklist of tunes that Barber has frequently performed as encores throughout her illustrious career, including classics by Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stevie Wonder, Lee Hazlewood, Lerner & Loewe, Thelonious Monk and more. After growing an international cult following, earning the first-ever Guggenheim Fellowship awarded to a non-classical songwriter, and becoming an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Patricia Barber is back with a "silk, velvet, languid, warm" journey through music history as she "respects traditions, bends them to make her own points, and freshens them into something new," as noted in the album liner notes by NPR's Susan Stamberg.
"The harmonic language of jazz, as well as that of the Great American Songbook, is certainly rich -- look how much has come out of it -- but it's circumscribed. I started wanting to hear something else," Barber said of recording an all-standards album.
Today, Patricia Barber has also debuted Clique's lead single "This Town," written by Lee Hazlewood and popularized by Frank Sinatra. Barber pulls the 1967 hit into her own aesthetic domain, creating unique sonic tensions with her "infinitesimally subtle vocal shadings" (Chicago Tribune) that demand listeners rethink the original meaning of the song.
Clique, recorded at the same time as Barber's 2019 release Higher, finds Barber once again teaming with GRAMMY award-winning engineer Jim Anderson, to write the next chapter in a 26-year working relationship that has very few precedents in jazz. Anderson's recordings render every inflection of Barber's voice with such presence and clarity, perfectly complementing her art which is so defined by nuance and shading. The sessions for Clique, recorded, mixed and mastered in Digital eXtreme Definition (352.8kHz/32bit) at Chicago Recording Company's Studio 5, are among Anderson's finest engineering achievements and continue to set the sound quality standard for generations to come.