Born: September 10, 1948 Primary Instrument: Lyricist
Lyricist/singer Lorraine Feather’s work has been heard on numerous records, in films and on television. Her songs have been covered extensively by adult contemporary and jazz artists, including Phyllis Hyman, Kenny Rankin, Patti Austin, Diane Schuur and Cleo Laine. As a jazz singer, Lorraine has recorded eleven albums, three with her vocal trio Full Swing and eight as a soloist. All of her work as a recording artist has featured her own lyrics, and her CDs have received glowing reviews in every major jazz magazine. Jazz Times has called her “a lyrical Dorothy Parker” and her work “pure genius.” Dave Frishberg said of her that she is “the best of the new crop of jazz lyricists.” Her 2001 release, New York City Drag, featured contemporary lyrics to formerly instrumental pieces written by Fats Waller; she did similar treatments with Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn instrumentals on Cafe Society, Such Sweet Thunder (all-Ellington/Strayhorn), and Dooji Wooji. Lorraine’s 2008 CD, Language (Jazzed Media), was her most successful solo venture to date, reaching the #1 spot on both the national charts and the Amazon jazz vocal charts; Language was co-written with Russell Ferrante, Shelly Berg, Eddie Arkin, Tony Morales, Terry Sampson, and the Hornheads’ Michael B. Nelson. Tierney Sutton, Janis Siegel and Cheryl Bentyne guested as vocalists. Lorraine began working in television as a lyricist in 1992 and has received seven Emmy nominations. Her lyrics for children include Disney’s Dinosaurs series on ABC with composer Ray Colcord, and an ongoing body of work with composer Mark Watters, including the MGM films Babes In Toyland and An All Dogs Christmas; the theme for MGM’s TV shows All Dogs Go To Heaven and The Lionhearts; Candy Land and the My Little Pony films for Hasbro; and “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” the finale to the Opening Ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics, sung by Jessye Norman, and also recorded by Ms. Norman for the Philips label. In 2003, Lorraine co-wrote the songs for Disney’s feature film The Jungle Book 2 with Australian composer Paul Grabowsky. In 2004, Lorraine and Larry Grossman were asked to hand-tool a song for Julie Andrews to sing in The Princess Diaries 2. This marked the first onscreen singing performance by Ms. Andrews in many years. Both releases were hits for Disney. In 2009, Lorraine and New York animator George Griffin completed an animated short based on “You’re Outa Here,” from New York City Drag. It was accepted at 37 festivals worldwide and won several awards, including Best Music Video at the South Beach Animation Festival. Lorraine’s 2010 project , Ages, most heavily featured music by living composers: Russell Ferrante, Eddie Arkin, Shelly Berg, Dick Hyman and Béla Fleck. Its concept was the stages of life “from zero to sixty,” and brought her a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. On Valentine’s Day 2012, Lorraine released her third Jazzed Media album, Tales of the Unusual. The focus of this CD was unusual occurrences, both real and surreal, and odd people. Besides Arkin, Ferrante and Berg, the album included a re-recording of “Indiana Lana” (based on Duke Ellington’s “Jubilee Stomp’) from the Dooji Wooji album; a lyricized version of Nino Rota’s “Rosa Aurata,” from the film Juliet of the Spirits (“Ahh”); and a treatment of Italian jazz pianist Enrico Pieranunzi’s “Fellini’s Waltz.”
Tales of the Unusual was sent to press outlets farther in advance than any of Lorraine’s previous recordings and received considerable critical acclaim before its release; All Music Guide gave it 4 ½ stars and called Lorraine “easily one of the most creative lyricists of her generation.”
As of early 2012, Lorraine was beginning work on a solo album for 2013, and in the midst of writing and recording an album of lyricized stride classics with young St. Louis pianist Stephanie Trick, as part of the duo Nouveau Stride�most of the tracks being made available as downloads serially on a monthly basis�beginning with “Pour on the Heat,” based on James P. Johnson’s “Caprice Rag,” in January of 2012.
Source: Carl L. Hager