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Fay Victor / Press

“Betty Carter is less an influence than one of her peers in jazz history”

Tom Hull - The Village Voice

“**** 4 STARS "Fay Victor sings from deep in here to way out there. On her ensemble's third album, cryptic messages come in strange and intricate forms--chiaroscuro theatrical pieces that tell tales of an individualist's exuberant survival in dystopia."”

“On ABSINTHE & VERMOUTH: Whether combing the detritus of her oversized purse (BIG BAG), examining the GUNK that must be cleared out to enable health and clarity, honking through the traffic jam of urban monotony (ROBOT CLOWN), commenting on modern technology’s mechanized drone (TALK TALK) or opening the door to heaven (SEASHORE), Victor and company remain bracingly, craftily brilliant.”

Christopher Loudon - JazzTimes

““An inventive, far-out Betty Carter influenced New York based vocalist steps up her co-writing partnership with Dutch husband Jochem van Dijk, in a raw, avant-chamber jazz trio setting.” ***THREE STARS”

Selwyn Harris - JazzWIse UK

“The FreeSong Suite, peers into the NYC-based vocalist’s challenging and rewarding world of captivating vocal work and stirring spontaneity.””

“On her new album, “Absinthe & Vermouth,” the vocalist Fay Victor imagines a literate but growlingly original new course for her working band”

“On ABSINTHE & VERMOUTH: Victor’s voice operates on many levels: it can be sweet and seductive, harsh and abrasive, one minute operating in the lower, quiet end of the spectrum before abruptly swooping into the stratosphere. When improvising, she frequently jumps octaves in a manner not dissimilar to Eric Dolphy’s improvisations. She alternates between singing and reciting lyrics and there’s great theatricality in her presentation. Her lyrics are alternately wry, witty, profound and bittersweet, sometimes all in one song. Frequently they are vignettes about her life…Get drawn into the spell of this music and you could easily take in the album’s 72 minutes in one fell swoop.”

Robert Iannapollo - The New York Jazz Record

“On ABSINTHE & VERMOUTH: Like Dali’s melting clock, Victor’s lyrics cascade in a melding of the mundane, the natural and the fantastical. Words morph into pointillistically expressive wails and punctuating tones. It’s like the Mad Hatter invited Kurt Weill and Arnold Schoenberg to tea and the caterpillar scored it.”

Katie Bull - The New York Jazz Record

“Over the past few years, Ms. Victor has made inroads into the creative music scene with her no-holds-barred, improvisational, approach to music.  Along with bassist Ken Filiano and guitarist Anders Nilsson, she is creating music that breaks barriers while being true to Whitney Balliett’s description of jazz as “the sound of surprise”…”Absinthe & Vermouth” is filled with music that thrills those listeners who love a challenge (and might scare the devil out of purists). It’s easy to hear the Fay Victor Ensemble are a trio of equals – no one steals (or hogs) the spotlight and the creative interplay speaks of years of interaction, of paying attention to each other and enjoying the challenges that these compositions pose.  As an active listener, take your time and enjoy this aural roller-coaster.”

"artistically complete"

“on KAISO STORIES: “Victor is proving to be one of the most extraordinary vocalists on the scene today and here she comes off as actress, sorceress, and temptress, working an area of rough, declamatory improvisations in the tradition of Jeanne Lee and Abbey Lincoln but with her own burning passion and galvanic force….Other Dimensions is passionate and inspired on this disc and Victor is a wonder to behold. It’s been a while since I heard Free Jazz with this much holy fire in it. One of the best discs of the year without question.””

Jerome Wilson - Cadence Magazine

“about BARE: ”Accomplished vocal modernist Fay Victor manages to deconstruct the tradition of jazz song without pretension or tedium—quite a high-wire feat, if you ask us.”

“KAISO STORIES:Roots tributes rarely sound as fascinating or as cultishly seductive as Kaiso Stories…(Victor) gives you a sense of what Betty Carter would have sounded like with the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Trumpeter Roy Campbell and Daniel Carter play their roles as foils with graceful restraint while the great William Parker, on gembri and duduk, as well as double bass, prods the singer with soulful finesse. Having emerged as a vocal artist with a real vision, Victor rises to a higher level of inspiration here.””

“About KAISO STORIES: “She approaches these songs with wide-open intent, taking the lyrics (many of them slyly political) and adding her individual approach: stretching the syllables out, using repetition, singing long, loopy melodic lines. While her style derives from Betty Carter and Jeanne Lee, it’s her emotional core and rich, honeyed vocal timbre that sets her apart. Other Dimensions In Music’s full-bore approach is perfect for the project, rhythmically open yet with an African pulse underneath. The frontline blends with Victor in remarkable dialogues; Campbell, in particular, shares a close affinity with her, as the disc’s opening attests. Victor is at the vanguard of jazz singers and Kaiso Stories is yet another important addition to her discography.””

Robert Iannapollo - Signal To Noise

“...Victor's soulful, emotive delivery combines with avant-tinged invention, placing her alongside great vocal innovators like Betty Carter, Jeanne Lee, Sheila Jordan...”

“A jazz singer who makes her notes slow, wide and meaningful — she often sounds like an evening-out of Betty Carter and Abbey Lincoln — Fay Victor uses a great and simple concept on “The FreeSong Suite” (Greene Avenue Music).””

““The Fay Victor Ensemble's The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue, 2009) is a tour de force of writing, improvisation and performance. From free improv to the blues to alt-rock and back again, The FreeSong Suite is easily one of my top 10 records of 2009.””

“What you hear on this album is raw and quirky and powerful and full of feeling and surprise and particularities that reflect universal human truths. One of the unique listening experiences of this or any other year.”

““Victor has the chops, the phrasing, the band and the courage to make contemporary music that references contemporary culture and materials that range from Carter to Berberian to Sun Ra to Hendrix. This is sheer, unadulterated brilliance. Buy it!””

““Victor scats, vocalizes, chips, mumbles and sings bluesy chromatics or angular displays of dexterity, delivering the unexpected with beauty, depth and innovation.””