Early Janet Paschal
So early, in fact, she doesn’t really sound like Janet Paschal yet:
It’s not so very good, is it? The sound is all up in her nasal passages and the front of her face and mouth, flattened out into unpleasant straight tones and dipthonged to death. She’s singing entirely too hard. She’s often just plain out of tune.
There are hints of what’s to come, though - listen to the way she sings “below” in the second verse, around minute 1:33. She’s sung herself out of breath at the end of the phrase (of the myriad problems with her vocal style at this point, it’s aerobically inefficient). Just that little bit of a reduction in vocal steam pressure lightens the tone tremendously, and because she’s at the end of the phrase, she inflects the tone with a bit more brightness. It’s head-turning, that one little word, the way it stands out from among the other tones in the musical thought and shimmers with a kind of clarity that we’ve all become accustomed to.
It’s a good reminder of how selectively we recall the pre-history of a accomplished talent, and how even, or especially, the people who in their prime make it look the easiest really did have to work incredibly hard to achieve that ease of bearing and style (and say that as a hopeless partisan of Late Paschal). But mostly it’s just fun to time travel a bit. Thanks to JWS for sending it along.Email this Post