Ah, a Beatles classic, everybody loves those. But I actually want to highlight a performance by Patricia Barber, who takes this song further than any Beatle, living or dead.
Patricia’s appeared in this series before, which puts her in pretty select company, and I’m OK with that, I’ve never understood why she’s not an international megastar.
Norwegian Wood is from a live album called Live: A Fortnight in France, recorded on tour, which is utterly charming end to end. As is almost everything she’s ever shipped.
The notion of taking a simple pop tune and wrapping an extended jazz tangle round it is not exactly new or surprising. It helps that Ms Barber sings in a warm, unironic tone end-to-end, showing real respect for the simple song at the center of the tangle. In this particular context it’s relevant to note that she’s a lesbian.
Links · Spotify playlist. This tune on Amazon, iTunes, and it’s not on Spotify. But to make up for that, here’s a completely lovely performance from the “Ladies’ Jazz Festival” in Gdynia, Poland.