Durtro/Jnana Baby Dee : The Robin's Tiny Throat (US,re.2007)****° (=Little Window -rec.2000,pub.2001-/Love's Small Song -2002-/Made For Love -2005-)
Three previously released now sold out albums of By Dee are reissued on this double CD.
On the earliest recordings of Baby Dee (2000), it sounds as if he/she hardly dares to sing out loud hardly using of the power of breathing, a restrained use of this sort of strength in singing. This does not disturb much, only makes a vulnerability which in its cabaretic expression form just stays a bit more in the background than necessary. On “the Robin’s tiny throat” for instance, this makes the great poetic song have its own beauty, while at the same time I could hear in my mind the song being performed by a strong, classical operatic voice. Instead this is a sadder alternative, close to the vulnerability of the inspiration itself. The same I think of some other songs which in this way sound more sad than being able to transform this sadness completely, while already succeeding in creating an area for an eternal romantic soul, who can find himself/herself in such moments within the protected area of a spotlight podium, where other things are revealed by it, momentarily. More strength in his voice comes spontaneously with a song about his diseased father. There’s a hidden bonus track, an accordion improvisation, with a bit of laughing in the background as if returning to some moment memorized in the past.
What came into existence through experiences, to form a personality, as possibilities, becomes an expression that is being able to transcend some worlds. This strength becomes even more complete with the inclusion of the second album, which is connecting and healing what can be said. On “the moon and the morning star” she sings like a big mama to her children. Another example of a personal song is “So Bad” about his/her mother, a song that is almost like a gospel (despite its unusual lyrics). In fact every track is pretty personal, and a romantic play with his mind in the stars and to the Robin (with real birds singing on the background), that stands for Baby Dee’s own voice and songs, to harsher realities that could kill a person’s essential being. This could be the reason for the voice coming out of the dark the way it does, with the heart’s expressions finding its safe way, like a romantic soul.
The EP concludes the compilation with two songs on the theme of love, and one more on a family related theme. Most songs are accompanied by piano but some harp can be heard as well, and some birds singing. A rather essential document of art songs.
PS. During the radio show I realised even more how beautiful the lyrics and the song “The Robin’s Tiny Throat” is. The song is about not finding the courage to sing after having lost his mother. When he hears a bird singing he can hardly bare this idea or understand how this bird can sing in the big emptiness of the sky, and just like a child looking for deeper meanings, he asks questions which are answered in a transcendent way, soothing this feeling of loss through these images. Through the song one realises that the voice of the bird, or just like the sunlight for the sky were like the carrying out and caring voice of his mother. This brings in a deep transcendent-psychological and spiritual sense, in the form of a poetic experience. This is the kind of writing I like most (also, in general). Baby Dee shows himself as being a gifted writer, and I can feel how his personal experiences made him evolve to what he is today. To some degree one can say that with all this he also took over or at least inhabited his mother's role so that the importance of her (in his life) lives on. It is one of the songs that would remain longer.