Last Friday, Sept. 6, Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders released a new album — but Valve Bone Woe isn’t a standard studio record.
No, for this one, the esteemed Hynde put together an expertly-crafted set of cover songs, ranging from jazz standards to newer classics from the Kinks, the Beach Boys and more. All together, it’s a captivating selection of songs from Hynde, always one to push the envelope and steadfastly refuse to stay stagnant.
Alongside the album, Hynde issued a lengthy mission statement about what inspired this project:
“A few years back when I saw an obit in the paper for the valve-trombonist, Bob Brookmeyer, I mailed my jazz sax-playing brother, saying ‘R. I. P. Bob Brookmeyer.’ Terry, a man of few words, responded with ‘Valve Bone Woe,’ a kind of Haiku beatnik prose.
“I thought that was a perfect title for the album I’d been working on with producer Marius de Vries. After we’d recorded ‘I Wish You Love’ for the Eye Of The Beholder soundtrack I’d often expressed a desire to do more along those lines. What eventually emerged was the idea to do what we refer to as our Jazz/Dub album, the one you’re now holding in your hand.
“I’m not hugely interested in branching out into other musical genres, being a devout rock singer as such, but jazz is something I grew up around (thanks to my bro) and I’ve always had a soft spot for it. I often bemoan what I regard as a decline in melody in popular music and I wanted to sing melodies. Plus, I have a penchant for cover songs, it’s the surprise of singing something that I didn’t think of writing myself that turns me on.
Jazz got side-lined by Rock & Roll in the 60’s, but now the demise of rock seems to be heralding in a newfound interest in it, the most creative and innovative musical forms of the 20th century. I’m happy to jump on the bandwagon.”
Stream Valve Bone Woe below, via Spotify: