Sunday, May 3, 2015

Crescent The Chromatic Bear: Joyce Kwon's Weird Children's Audio Book

Saxophonist Joe Manis turned me on to this video. Vocalist Joyce Kwon has done more than simply learn John Coltrane's solo on his classic "Crescent" recording; she put lyrics to almost every note. It's already impressive that she is making all of the notes and rhythms and phrasing. Her lyrics tell a very odd story, one which I would be more accustomed to seeing in one of my son's bedtime books than embedded within a Coltrane solo. The "Crescent" solo becomes " Crescent The Chromatic Bear:" it's kind of like the famous "Twisted," which is Annie Ross' lyrical treatment of Wardell Gray's tune and improvised solo.

Joyce Kwon's creation on "Crescent" is vocalese on steriods. Or perhaps crack cocaine. There's a lot of technical and creative brilliance in her arrangement, but I wondered as I listened if Kwon was a madwoman. There are a lot of great artists out there and it's always refreshing to find somebody who has the chops but also has that extra artistic gear, when they can tap into that deep place in their psyche and bring their music to that next "insane" level.

Kwon has some other cool arrangements on youtube; she did a "cover" of the Danish-Norwegian pop group Aqua's 1997 mega -hit " Barbie Girl." If you don't know the song, look it up on youtube. Check out Kwon's descent into madness at the end of the tune....

If you still aren't intrigued, check out this microtonal serenade to a poor sense of food combining: 

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