Jessica Lurie

Jessica Lurie

 Brooklyn, New York, USA
BandJazzWorld

Boundary defying, Lurie brings her distinct sound, mixing jazz,folk,funk,avant-garde,Klezmer & Latin influences ..."she is considered one of the most exciting interpreters of music today, pushing stylistic barriers, constructing new musical landscapes, to daydream with an extreme sense of purpose.”

Biography

Hailing from Seattle, Brooklyn-based instrumentalist Jessica Lurie performs on alto sax, flute, accordion and sings. Her influences range from John Zorn, Gillian Welch, Ornette Coleman, Brandi Carlyle to Klezmer and Balkan melodies, Cuban accents and the classical music of her father and the funk of Sly and the Family Stone.

With MEGAPHONE HEART, her newest recording, composer and multi-instrumentalist JESSICA LURIE and her Ensemble are poised between creative jazz, rock, folk and avant-garde music, generating a luscious and compelling sea of sound. An adventurous musical spirit shines through ten original compositions, with LurieÂ’s unmistakable big sound on tenor and alto saxes, flute, and her distinctive voice. Inspired by life in Brooklyn, traveling the world, and her love of American and international melodies and rhythms, this is her strongest collection of songs yet.

With skill and discipline borne from her-life long dedication to music composition and improvisation, Lurie creates a pulsing, brimming, expansive sound. Joined by an ensemble of stellar musicians, she barrels across uncharted territories where jazz, folk, chaos and beauty all come out to play. MEGAPHONE HEART is LurieÂ’s second CD co-produced by bassist Todd Sickafoose.

Jessica composes for and performs and records worldwide with the Jessica Lurie Ensemble as well as several groups including the Tiptons Sax Quartet (formerly the Billy Tipton Memorial Sax Quartet), The Living Daylights Trio, La Buya. and Romeo Studs. Jessica has performed, toured or recorded with international artists such as Bill Frisell, The Indigo Girls, Danijel Zezelj, Amy Denio, Zemog, Vinicio Caposella, Mark Ribot, Marty Erhlich, Roy Nathanson, Carlo Actis Dato, Skerik, Mike Clark, Allison Miller, The Pat Grainey Dance Company, Eyvind Kang, Wayne Horvitz, Booker Washington Jr., Leo Neocentelli,  Paul McCandless, Calvin Weston, Sleater Kinney, Ellen Fullman & Pauline Oliveros, The Shakin' Ray Levis Society, NYC's Circus Amok, Frank London, Kenny Wolleson, Jenny Scheinman, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, James Blood Ulmer Trio, Les Claypool, Nels Cline, MMW, The Berkeley Symphony and NYC' s Great Small Works theatre company among others.  

The JLE has been featured at: The Canadian Music Festival, SXSW, NOIR fest, Comix Salon Erlangen,The Zagreb Animateka Festival, Pisa Instabile Festival, Motovun Film Festival, Babel Arts festival, Earwing No Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival, CMJ Jazz Festival, Bumbershoot International Music Festival, and the Earshot Jazz Festival. Her latest CD Shop of Wild Dreams (2009) has been reviewed and acclaimed in All About Jazz (NY and Italy), Jazziz, Jazz Times, Downbeat, Chicago Jazz Magazine, The New Yorker, Jambase and the International Review of Music. She and her groups Living Daylights and The Tiptons Saxophone Quartet are featured in the new jazz documentary Icons Among Us (2009).

Lyrics

Grey Ocean

Written By: Jessica Lurie

I am calling to you
way across the grey ocean
I hope the wind carries my voice
I hope you left the window open
For me....
For me...
For me...
For me...

Kitchen sink broke down
I heard a rumble form below
all the things I put away
Came back to bother me some more
A color blue black sky
The wind is coming from the east
The mice are eating all the corn
And there's a rumble underneath

Under a shark skin sky
My heart has stumbled to my feet
I dream the moon inside your eyes
Your breath is flowing into me
There's rain and sun at the same time
Bittersweet to come or go
If I could just sit still and listen to my heart
Would I hear you whisper more?

I am calling to you
way across the grey ocean
I hope the wind carries my voice
I hope you left the window open
For me....
For me...
For me...
For me...

Mexico

Written By: Jessica Lurie

MEXICO

you know they put it all down to what the fat man said
they said she went down to the water and she soaked herself dead
but I know for sure she's got a boat out for hire
and she sailed off to mexico

she crossed the delta 'bout 3 o'clock
drinking champagne from a water glass
she stole three chickens from the chicken shack
she threw the hot sauce in the water but the fish keep comin' back

she's got Sicilian sailor blood
and an old man's coat
with a skin of salt and lime she lives on
licorice and smoke

O do i hear another hurricane inside my head
or is it just a wailing bagpipe from the coast?
there is something in the wind that wants to rip off all your skin
and it is coming up from mexico, mexico...

Ms. Mary MacK is coming back
In an old man's coat
she orders whiskey at the bar and picks up Alice in the car
and they are screaming with the radio, radio

she's got Sicilian sailor blood
and an old man's coat
with a skin of salt and lime she lives on
licorice and smoke

well, bend an ear back to what the fat man said was right
he said she'd take off on the water in the black and pitch of night
i woke with lemon on my lips a touch of salt upon my skin
i'll drink up whiskey till it's light
i want to follow where they've been

if i could buy a small boat
i would fill it full of licorice
and i would take it down to mexico where all the crazy ladies fish
take it down to mexico where all the crazy ladies fish

I Don't Care if I Don't Care

Written By: Jessica Lurie

i don't care if i don't care
no, i don't care if i don't care
come on in and take a chair
just put your heart down anywhere

i don't care if i don't care
come on in and take a chair
just put your heart down anywhere
just put your heart down anywhere

does it tick or does it knock?
we'll put it in a jelly box
next to the worn down wind up clocks

i don't care if i don't care
come on in and take a chair
just put your heart down anywhere

we'll fix it if you set it free
trade in your torch for fireflies
there's bread and butter on the shelf
and a box of pennies for your eyes

the nuts and bolts replacement cost
is equal to the things you've lost
what you are is what you make and
what you give and what you take
a penny for your troubled thoughts
don't shut the door it never locks

Maps

Written By: Jessica Lurie

MAPS
For the long traveler i beg you to be wary
of distractions and a lack of road signs
If the radio plays static and your throat is too dry
perhaps you'll consider pulling over next time
when i see open road i just don't believe it
sometimes I'm blind to the crack in the ground
& when i can't seem to hear for all the buzzing in my ears
i just try to keep all windows down

One Two Three
You know what you mean to me
Now that we've started up again
I can't stop this pulling on me endlessly
Just like the ocean you pull me in
Just like the ocean we come back again

Remember when we got lost in the city
we had more maps than our arms could hold
but i could see no direction worth going to
I could not find you as our hearts had grown so cold
i follow the compass that is tattooed on my chest
spin me in 3 circles and we might be heading north
the furrow on your brow seems softer somehow
& it is easier to chart a new course....

One Two Three
You know what you mean to me
Now that we've started up again
I can't stop this pulling on me endlessly
Just like the ocean you pull me in
Just like the ocean we come back again

I think that I see you
So much better in the dark
Our hands our eyes our breath a southern wind
Follow that notion for to jump in the ocean
And like the ocean your heart beat brings me in
Just like the ocean you pull me in
Just like the ocean we come back again

Discography

Megaphone Heart/JLE April 2012
Shop of Wild Dreams/JLE Jan 2009; Laws of Motion, Tiptons nov. 2008; Licorice & Smoke, Zipa Music, Nov. 2005; DRIVE, The Tiptons Sax Quartet, Zipa/Spoot Music, Oct 2005; This Is What It's Like To Be, Andrew Drury/Jessica Lurie Duo, Zipa/Andrew Drury Music , May 2005; Tsunami TheTiptons Sax Quartet, Zipa!Music/Spoot Music, 2004; Brainstun 2, Brainstun, Present Sounds Recordings, 2003; Short Cuts, The Tiptons, 2003; Night of The Living Daylights, Living Daylights 2003; Good For Babies, Sheqer 2003
!ZIPA BUKA!, The Jessica Lurie Ensemble, Zipa!Music, 2002; School of One, Jessica Lurie & Will Dowd Duo, Zipa!Music, 2002; Three Hits Compilation, featuring Living Daylights, Luan Records, 2001; Electric Rosary, Living Daylights, Liquid City Records, 2000 ; Sunshine Bundtcake, The Billy Tipton Memorial Sax Quartet (BTMSQ), Horn Hut Records, 2000; Motor Bison Serenade, Zipa!Music, 2000; La Luce Azzurra, Jessica Lurie & Metroplizani, Zipa!Music 1999;
500 lb. Cat, Living Daylights, Liquid City, 1998; Pollo d'Oro, BTMSQ and Ne Zhdali, No Man’s Land Records 1998; BOX, BTMSQ, New World Records, 1996;
Falling Down Laughing, Living Daylights, Liquid City Records, 1995; Imperfect World, Living Daylights, Imperfect Music, 1994; make it funky god, BTMSQ, Horn Hut Records, 1994; Sax House, BTMSQ, Knitting Factory Works, 1992

Set List

Typical set list - 6-8 songs per set. Mainly original songs, with a mixture of avant-garde jazz, folk, and funk, 50% instrumental, 50% with singing. Some covers include songs by Gillian Welch, Fugazi, the Kinks, Lhasa and Led Belly
Sets are typically 50-75 minutes long.