Under My Hat
This album came out of a family session I did last year with my daughter Melissa and her father Scott Shetler, who wrote the title tune. Melissa and I have been playing out together for years and Scotty has played on some of my previous recordings. We all met on the banks of the Delaware with a fabulous group of musicians, culled from New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Baltimore and produced this dynamite session. We've have put a lot of years of music and life into this disc. You can hear a family history in the dramatic, genetic melding of Patty and Melissa's voices and their haunting harmonies. Scott's there too, underneath, noodling with his horns. It's a family album kind of thing. We hope you enjoy it. 'A family who plays jazz together stays together, or so it seems from the family affair on Patty Carpenter's latest CD. One of the pleasant surprises on this album is that mother and daughter have their own quite distinctive and separately recognizable voice. No vocal cloning here. Patty Carpenter's is clearly horn-inflected, with a jazzy feel for the music. Daughter Melissa Shetler has more of a husky growl. These disparate sounds come together very well both when they solo and when they harmonize. One of the many exemplary tracks on the set is a raise-the-arms-and-voices-to-the-heavens version of Bobby Timmons' Moanin', with Melissa's dad, Scott Shetler playing a preacher testifying from his musical pulpit. Another fine cut is Glory of Love, with Shetler laying down some serious sax over which the jaunty vocals of mother and daughter ride. There's no jazz vocal style these two singers don't handle with ease and aplomb. A Latin version of Watch What Happens has the two weaving voices in, out, and around each other for some scintillating call-and-response harmonizing. The cleanly picked guitar of Draa Hobbs helps considerably on this track. They Can't Take That Away From Me conjures a small club setting with happy customers enjoying the music and ambience. This family obviously enjoys working together, as there's nothing stiff or reserved about the performances on this recommended album. ' ~ Dave Nathan, All Music Guide A Jazz Family Album Liner Notes by Vernadah Porche The morning after Valentine's, my red wagon, frost-shelled, is gritted with salt like a wintry heart. Most days, I peel out of the dooryard as news unscrolls woe and scandal: boy bomb, Enron. Instead, I slip in Under My Hat, scrape ice and let music unwind our lives. 'Music was my earliest memory,' Patty says. 'In the parlor, I made my mother put on Grieg's 'The Hall of the Mountain King.' I did my own little sufi dance on the oriental rug until I dropped.' By the time she and Scott became teen sweethearts, Patty had 'a ton of songs.' She lent dropped-out Scott her Martin guitar. 'He would play all day, pick me up at school on my bicycle and I would ride home on the back.' They balanced like that, close and precarious, 'did the folk thing,' hitched up the West Coast, and landed in Vermont's commune country, where we lived and improvised. By the early seventies, we were barnyard madonnas with kids to raise on tortillas and ideas, time on our hands, earth under the nails, poems to pen in like swine. Music underscored our saga; Patty, Scott and their kid Melissa made the best of it. Born in '72, Missy sang before she spoke and danced to Coltrane every morning. Little Ethel Merman, aged three, Missy brought down the house with 'You Are My Sunshine' at our annual Talent Show. That icy New Year's Eve, Patty backed her on the baby grand that perched on a loft above canned peaches and frozen roasts. At UMass, Patty studied jazz with Reggie, Max, and Archie. At their handmade home, she studied the blues: hauled water from a frozen stream- 'There's nothing quite like the sound of ice cracking behind you when you're on your knees' and chainsawed stovewood from the pile, moments before she burned it, after Scott blew South. 'When I dropped him off at the train, Lester Young and Billie Holiday were playing 'Lover Man' on the radio. At the time, I knew it meant something, and it wasn't good. Years later, on my last CD, we recorded that song, and Scotty nailed it.' Music fused and confused their lives. They moved on to new mates and material. At 4, Missy played kazoo with The Tin Band, street musicians Scott remembers as 'part gonzo, part Bread and Puppet.' When her parents toured in their bands, Missy was on the bus or playing Atari in the bar. While both were gone, she eluded sitters, snacked on wintergreen berries and communed with lady slippers in the woodsy acres behind their homes. By 12, she sang 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?' with Patty's all-women rock group No Regrets, and 'Iko-Iko' with The Prime Rib Band, where Scott played reeds. Still in her teens, she took off for Mexico's waves and ruins, soaked up rays and rhythms. Later, she studied voice in Cuba. Wherever Melissa traveled, she brought beats home. She grew into the love ballads and found her own. Under My Hat is a jazz family album. The jewel case could be tooled leather. Inside, Patty and Melissa harmonize, croon, coax, chat and scat about love and survival. Sometimes you can't tell who's carrying the tune: Patty is satin, Melissa is smoke, but not always... Around and between lyrics and cadences, Scott holds court on assorted horns. The title track is his original. The Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band fleshes out the sound. Each player, close as kin, weighs in with blazing solos. In springtime, they gathered at Hui's farmhouse-studio on the Delaware Water Gap to work out the fit: New Orleans funk, Baltimore jazz, New York R & B, Irish fire, Hendrix meets Zollar, with the Carpenter-Shetler postnuclear trio. Together, they span distances and traditions, take turns and liberties, spar and groove in a show place like home. -Verandah Porche Verandah Porche, itinerant poet (The Body's Symmetry, Glancing Off) and performer has been featured in the Burlington Free Press, the Sunday Boston Globe, and on NPR's ARTBEAT. She has read at such sites as Harvard College, the Rutland Jail, and the Palace of Friendship in the former Leningrad. She received the Vermont Arts Council's 1998 Award of Merit for her work. The Singers: Patty Carpenter has a strong, clear and wonderfully buoyant trumpet-like voice and an affinity for long, swinging straight-ahead lines, like those of her favorite tenor saxophonists John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, and Wayne Shorter. She is extremely versatile-singing jazz, blues, rock, gospel, swing, ballads, Brazilian and Latin tunes. Her approach let's her shift from style to style without violating the essence of what she does. She has an ear for the emotional content of the lyrics. She sings to tell a story and find meaning in the words. There's a lot of Miles Davis' bittersweet blues in her ballads and a Billie Holiday-like behind-the-beat phrasing in her up-tempo numbers. Whether you swooned to Sinatra or jitterbugged to Goodman, Miller, the Dorseys, and Count Basie, whether you are a twenty or thirty something, a teenage slacker, a generation 'X-er' or a baby boomer, you are sure to be touched by the marvelous, lyrical singing of Patty Carpenter. Melissa Shetler grew up immersed in music. As the child of two working musicians, she was exposed to a wide variety of musical styles, especially jazz and blues. At 12, she began publicly singing with her mom and dad and their various bands. Now a singer in her own right, her voice has matured into a sultry, smoky, bluesy style that is equally at home singing swing tunes or salsa. She delivers blues numbers in a husky growl, rich with double meanings and sly inferences. Since moving to New York in 1995, Melissa has played at Arturo's, Windows of the World, Swing 46, The Supper Club, The Waterfront, 11th Street Bar, and the Jazz Standard. She's sung at weddings, parties, and done studio work. Famous with her fellow musicians for her rock solid sense of rhythm and innovative phrasing, Melissa has developed a strong repertoire in jazz, blues, Latin, and R&B and has become a favorite of the lower Manhattan crowd. The Boys in the Band: Scott Shetler is one of Boston's busiest jazz saxophonists. He's played with Gene Pitney, Johnny Adams, Harry van Walls, and Walter 'Wolfman' Washington. These days he also does a bunch of writing and arranging. He's a lean, mean saxophone player and a staple of Michelle Willson's Evil Gal Festival Orchestra, the Hot Tamale Brass Band, and the C'mon Man Trio. Guitarist Draa Hobbs studied with jazz greats Attila Zoller and Jimmy Raney. He went on to perform with Attila in a variety of settings, ranging from a unique quartet appearance with noted classical composer David Amram, to a duo performance broadcast live on radio. Draa has performed in clubs and concerts with many of the great artists in jazz; among them Jimmy Cobb, George Mraz, Lee Konitz, Armen Donellian, Don Friedman, and Valery Ponomarov. Multitalented pianist Brian Mitchell has gained considerable notoriety in music industry circles and beyond for both his solo career and his high-profile collaborations- recording and performing with some of music's most respected artists, including Bob Dylan, Rosanne Cash, Peter Wolf, Al Green, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, and Earl King. Fintan O'Neill was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved to New York in 1989. He has since established himself on the New York jazz scene playing top clubs and festivals with artists including Steve Wilson, Frank Gant, Cecil McBee, Bob Cranshaw, Dennis Irwin, Tony Reedus, Al Harewood, Don Sickler, Don Pate and Jed Levy. Drummer Herschel Dwellingham has been there and done that. For many years he was the Orchestra Leader at a joint in Boston, and played for performances by Jackie Wilson, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and many others. His has worked with Weather Report, Mongo Santamaria, Fats Domino, Johnny Mathis and others. His broadway credits include The Wiz, The Lena Horne Show, and Your Arms Too Short to Box with God. And he's a heck of a drummer! Patty's Notes: I loved making this album. It was magic in a Pennsylvania farm house (thanks, Hui). These tracks offer a wide variety of songs 'we love to sing,' backed by a killer band and set in a bluesy jazz style unique to our own 'dysfunctional jazz family.' 'Careless Love' is a timeless tale of love gone bad, backed by great clarinet and piano solos. This track just rocked from beginning to end. 'Watch What Happens' evokes an early memory of the movie, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. All I really remember of the film are some pretty umbrellas and this song. It brings me back to childhood and the way music first touched me. The song opens with some perfectly voiced classic guitar chords from Draa that really set the tone. 'Rico Vacilón' is a tune that Melissa taught me after she went to Cuba to study music. This deceptively simple song requires a rhythm that must be 'just so.' When people hear that cha-cha-cha beat they can't help but to start to dance. Melissa's voice is beautiful on this cut. Maybe one day we'll go to Cuba together. After listening to the first mix, Scott wrote to us about 'Glory of Love,' that 'it sounds like the mixer fed it through an ambient device of some sort to get that old style sound. It seems live enough, kinda like sitting in a club drinking bourbon, nice bass solo...guitar also...hey, let's stay here awhile.' When Melissa was just three, and her dad had gone off to Florida to play music, she listened to Wayne Shorter's version of 'Ponta De Areia' every night as her lullaby. I loved it too, and it is so cool to get to perform it with her now when she's all grown up. Herschel lays down the perfect groove. 'Moanin' is a classic blues tune with perfect tasteful riffs from Draa's guitar and a great cautionary rap from someone who should know - Reverend Scott 'Spoken Word' Shetler. Melissa and I first performed 'They Can't Take That Away From Me' at a centennial Gershwin concert. It speaks to me of a mother's memories as well as the 'love affair' theme that runs through it. Dig the big sound of the baritone on this number. 'Under My Hat' reminds me that that shy 16 year old boy I first fell for is still hiding under his hat. What a great tune! We liked it so much we named the album for it. Brian cooks on piano. Thanks Scotty. Fintin really shines, hitting those slow luscious chords and incredible voicing, on the piano during 'All the Things You Are.' This tune also features a beautiful uptempo swing guitar solo. I've dedicated 'Another Star' to my good friend Dana B. Good who passed away recently. It was a song we used to play together in a number of bands. This group had fun rocking behind us and Herschel and Gary are sooo rock solid. I think my favorite song is 'Angel From Montgomery.' Missy and Brian came up with the funky groove which everyone loved. Scotty's bass clarinet solo was an unusual choice, but it really works and flows right into Draa's cool guitar licks. Melissa's Notes: 'Satellites' The rhythm is really fun on this one. It's one of those songs I can't sing without moving to the beat. I love how it goes from sparse verses to this rich, harmonized bridge. 'Rico Vacilón' I learned this song while I was studying in Cuba. Then Bob Moses told me they used to play it at all the hotels up in the Catskills back in the day. 'Ponta de Areia' It has always been a dream to record this song, especially with my mom and dad. My mother would play the record, Native Dancer with Wayne Shorter and Milton Nascimento, almost every night to put me to sleep. There is something so soothing in the melody. The band did a great job with this song and it's not easy! Thanks guys for sticking with it. 'Angel From Montgomery' This one has always made me think about my family and community. It's my 'one thing to hold on to.' Brian Mitchell sets up the perfect groove! I would like to thank Mom and Dad for letting music be our family glue; everyone who played on this record for their insight, talent and patience; Alan, for more than words can ever say; Verandah for putting our lives into poetry and vice versa; Brian Mitchell for years of letting me share the stage and learn by doing; David O'Rourke for so much support; Ama for a kick in the tuchis; Mark Thayer for the most discerning ears I've ever encountered; Chuck, Jill and Eben for giving new meaning to step-family; Hui Cox for providing the space, equipment, and audio recording talent; John Wilton for taking the pictures and graphic design; and Lisa Michel for being an inspiration. Thanks also to all the great singers and songwriters out there who give me something to always strive towards. May music continue to be a place of peace for all of us. Note from Scott: Young love almost always wanders, as this one did, and then, many years later, like in the dream of a child whose parents have gone their separate ways, finds it's way back. This map was written in music, and though we each had a different piece, when we met again on the banks of the Delaware, they fit together to point the way. Credits: Patty Carpenter & Melissa Shetler, vocals Â· Scott Shetler, saxophone & clarinet Â· Draa Hobbs, guitar Â· Brian Mitchell, piano Â· Fintan O'Neill, piano Â· Gary Richardson, bass Herschell Dwellingham, drums Produced by Charles Light Â· Patty Carpenter Â· Alan McCarthy Â· Melissa Shetler Recording Engineer: Hui Cox Â· Audio Mixing by Mark Thayer, Signature Sounds Graphic Design by John Wilton & Charles Light Â· Front & Back Cover Photos by John Wilton epiphany 104 Â· DDD Â· Total Time 52:18.