BLUE HILL, Maine—Neworld Multimedia announces a new Noel Paul Stookey album, FAZZ:NOW&THEN—20-tracks performed in a contemporary folk and jazz style that has long been identified with the venerable artist perhaps best known as one-third of the Peter, Paul and Mary trio.
It is said that people become more like themselves with age, and with the release of this new album—a decidedly jazzy exploration of both traditional and contemporary material—the 84-year-old Stookey seems increasingly comfortable in his own skin. “My attempt to infuse folk music with what might be considered unusual chord structures has always focused on fulfilling what I see as the promise of a lyric’s emotional content.”
The “Fazz” name itself was coined in 1965 when Peter, Paul and Mary performed a series of concerts with the Dave Brubeck quartet. By way of introduction to a song that would feature both groups on stage, Brubeck’s saxophonist, Paul Desmond referred to the mixture of folk and jazz—somewhat derisively—as either “jolk” or “fazz.” The latter term stuck in Stookey’s mind, and the concept of this newest album has been roaming around in that creative space ever since.
Stylistically, the first twelve cuts on the CD are stunningly eclectic, drawing from the musical worlds of gospel, bossa-nova, classical, soft rock, folk and conclude with “I’ll Be Seeing You”— the nostalgic evergreen ballad from the early 1940’s. The remaining third of the album gives evidence to the claim that Stookey has been integrating ‘color chords’ with his music all along, proven by these seven resurrected and remastered songs, drawn from Peter, Paul and Mary concerts and Noel’s solo work prior to joining the trio.
NOTE: The ‘archival’ aspect of the final songs on FAZZ:NOW&THEN is a hint of the bonus to be offered at the NOELPAULSTOOKEY.COM website. A free link to a continually expanding collection of material will be given to those who purchase the album online in pre-release form between Feb. 22 and March 22 .