Picks and Pans Review: Celebrate!
Lori, Darlene, Sharon and Carolyn Perry have aptly named their debut LP, even if they're not so hot when it comes to spelling their own name. With the help of mentor Pat Metheny and producer Patrick Henderson, the four sisters from Bakersfield, Calif, have put together eight diverse tunes that are worth celebrating. Their four-part, gospel-tinged harmonies blend with masterfully performed jazz-rock to create an exuberant new sound. The genesis of this LP dates back four years, when the Perrys sent Metheny a demo tape on which they had recorded their own lyrics over several of his instrumental tracks. The guitarist-songwriter was so knocked out by their vocal interpretation of his work that he invited them to perform with him. A record company executive heard one of their concerts with Metheny in Southern California and eventually signed them. Two of the cuts on this LP, Airstream Two and Jaco Two, were among the songs that persuaded Metheny to hire the singers. Lori, 26, the baby of the group, handles most of the lead vocals. Her sturdy, elastic voice perfectly counterpoints her sisters' arabesque harmonies on the medium tempo Maybe Tomorrow and the fine ballad Alone. The Perrys trade leads on the staccato title cut, written by former Manhattan Transfer member Wayne Johnson, before charging into the danceable You Take Me to Heaven. The album indeed offers an unusual variety of material. No matter what mode they happen to be in, though, the Perry sisters always manage to communicate an irrepressible sort of enthusiasm for their music. (Zebra/MCA)
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