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Katie Cruel

The Roving Jewel

  • Type CD
  • Label Double Moon Records
  • UPC 0608917117820
  • Catalog number DMCHR 71178
  • Release date 13 January 2017
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About the album

Katie Cruel
"The Roving Jewel"
Who is Katie Cruel? A real person? The pseudonym of an artist? Neither one. This is the title of a folk song from the last century, which came to America via Scotland during the period of the Civil War. It deals with a mysterious woman whose social behavior did not necessarily coincide with social norms. However, that is precisely the reason why it is unique and difficult to define.
The musical liaison between the American guitarist Geoff Goodman and the Albanian singer Fjoralba Turku is also called "Katie Cruel” now. As a result, fruitful and successful collaboration of many years has finally found an appropriate name. Not like those jazz bands who call themselves after the initiator of the respective project and then add a conservative term such as "Quartet", "Trio" or "Duo" behind it. Or those who want to appear smart, trendy and modern and give their ensemble a peppy, garnish name. No, simply Katie Cruel. It fits. It directs you neither to this nor that pigeonhole, because Goodman and Turku are also actually unique in their own way, do not fit into any pre-conceived pattern and their musical philosophy is even more difficult to define than previously, especially just after their debut CD "The Roving Jewel".
Wait a second! Debut CD? "Yes in a sense," Geoff Goodman winked, knowing that both already have a common recording on CD shelves with "At The Middle" (Tutu). "But that was three years ago," Fjoralba Turku explained. "A lot has happened since then. I have evolved further as a singer, approach music much more freely and consequently can produce more colors and stories than before." Goodman suspects that some people could possibly consider "Katie Cruel” as a farewell to his previously way taken as a jazz guitarist. “But exactly the opposite is the case! These songs signify a kind of homecoming for me. All the musical influences in it are rooted deep inside me." The view into the innermost actually initially discloses incompatible recipes, but surprisingly well tolerated after a short time together; they flow into each other, begin to come together, even make you enthusiastic at some time, overpower and captivate you. Turku and Goodman naturally put traditional American folk songs and blues from the South alongside Albanian, Greek or Turkish folklore. Startled listeners realize with shivers down their spine how gently sparkling pop harmonies, powerful rock metrics or jazz settle similar loops in all open structures. The finely balanced playing of the violinist Max Grosch helps accomplish this and contributes a melancholy depth with his instrument on four songs.
The songbook of Katie Cruel includes, "I See You", the sixties classic by Byrds, which sounds like careful treatment of a souped-up jazz number. As a contrast to that, the wonderful "Red Is The Color Of My Car”, a fresh, intense folk number, or "M'Ka Mar Malli Per Nenen Time" in which Fjoralba remembers a song of her Albanian father when her family left their home to move to Germany. In the title song, she sings: “When I first came to town, they called me the roving jewel. Now they’ve changed their tune. The call me Katie Cruel.”
The musical paths of Fjoralba Turku and Geoff Goodman have largely run parallel for the past 10 years. A native New Yorker who has lived in Europe since 1979 and in Munich since the 1980s, he is the prototype of a jazz musician without blinders. He is continually evolving further without ostentatious effects, regardless of whether in collaboration with co-musicians such as Chris Hirson, Charlie Mariano, Mal Waldron, Tony Lakatos, Nicolas Simion, Ed Schuller, Larry Porter, Allan Praskin, Bill Elgart, Thomas Zoller, Krautrock and the avant-jazz pioneers from Embryo or Matthieu Bordenave (“Inverted Forest”; Double Moon) as well as regardless of whether as a lecturer at the Jazz Project of Freien Musikzentrum München or via a music scholarship from the state capital Munich for "Metal, Wood and Wire" in 2012. Fjoralba Turku, also a Munich resident by choice, first engaged Goodman in her world music band Tabla & Strings in 2007. With her soft, violin-like tone quality, she puts the entire emotional range to music in different languages.
The two heads of Katie Cruel construct musical mirror images of their cultural heritages and their biographical journeys in a continual dialog. The resulting bright tones and sound patterns far from any doctrine are far from being cruel, but instead just stunningly beautiful.

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