Patti Littlefield | Mark Weaver | Resonance | Plutonium Records

Resonance certainly stands out from the glut of singer sessions. First off there’s the instrumentation: vocalist Patti Littlefield and tuba player Mark Weaver for the most part, though Weaver mixes in some didgeridoo. Then there’s the unusual choice of tunes ranging from adventurous originals to standards with some Blues and Country mixed in. But what most sets this apart is the quality of the work. Littlefield is a self-assured vocalist who brings the voice of each song to life. She establishes this from the start. She endows “You’re My Thrill” with a dangerous, sensual edge and then takes it further by interpolating a stanza of erotic poetry in the middle. Each song is a dramatic set piece. She gives the familiar tunes, such as “Caravan,” new twists, yet remains true to their emotional cores. Littlefield carries this off without strain. She’s so natural the listeners will be ready to run off with her when they hear “Small Day Tomorrow,” and sympathize with her psychological woes on her original, “Perfect Blues.” The spare accompaniment of Weaver’s horn only heightens the drama. He provides a resonant grounding. And his didgeridoo playing is more than the usual novelty. It adds an exotic touch that complements the New Age lyrics of “Footprints” and conjures an eerie atmosphere that helps revive “House of the Rising Sun” after so many raucous Blues-Rock renditions. The duo ends with a playful and lightly dancing “Jitterbug Waltz” that puts the exclamation point on this noteworthy session. —David Dupont (Cadence Magazine Oct 2009, p.219) Continue reading