Reprint from Baltimore Magazine, February 2001, page 113

Tag team: Joyce J. Scott and Lorraine L. Whittlesey put their creative minds and voices together on their new CD, Try Me.

Monthly Mix
By John Lewis

It’s tough to wedge local composer Lorraine L. Whittlesey’s music into a particular category. Because she embraces various genres with gusto, her work has turned up in a variety of settings—from classical music halls (the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has performed her compositions) to hip-hop boom boxes (gangsta rappers Naughty By Nature used the bass rhythm of a Whittlesey tune in one of their songs). 

Lately, Whittlesey has been collaborating with Joyce J. Scott, the acclaimed visual and performance artist. The duo’s debut disc, Try Me (Private Sector), gleefully tweaks the cabaret tradition. 

A versatile vocalist, Scott vamps, coos, and whoops through Whittlesey’s songs like a sassy diva set loose in a piano bar. “Joyce has a great range,” says Whittlesey during a late-afternoon chat in her Roland Park home. “She can do those really low, blues-y tunes and she can really get up there.” With goofy snippets of Joyce-speak linking the songs, the disc has a fresh, spontaneous feel that’s nicely underscored by Whittlesey’s melodic and unobtrusive piano accompaniment. “I wanted to have sparse arrangements because this CD is more of a vehicle for Joyce,” says Whittlesey. “For me, the playing had to support Joyce’s wonderful voice. It was that simple.” 

 

 

return to Press