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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Zipless/Vanessa Daou


Vanessa Daou's 1994 debut album Zipless consists entirely of musical interpretations of the poetry of feminist writer Erica Jong, as found in her 1991 collection Becoming Light: Poems New and Selected. In putting together this collaboration, Daou had a bit of an inside track: she is married to Jong's nephew, Peter Daou. According to the description of the album on Daou's website, "Jong's emotionally complex and sexually-charged narratives radiated against the sumptuous backdrop of Peter’s masterful arrangements and Vanessa’s engrossing vocal caresses." Jong herself provided a vocal for the album, reciting her own poem on the track Smoke. The album's title alludes to a two-word phrase coined by Jong in her 1973 novel Fear of Flying, referring to a sexual encounter between two strangers, without emotional commitment or involvement. One of the words is "zipless." We're far too delicate to include the other word here.

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