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The Death of Simone Weil was first performed at the Berklee Performance Center in 2001. With music by Darrell Katz and text by Paula Tatarunis, The Death of Simone Weil deals with imagination, World War II, desire, fishing, and the Pope. Weil’s story unfolds like a surreal jazz improvisation that seamlessly mixes modern composition and the entire jazz legacy into a mature and personal style.
The alto voice of Rebecca Shrimpton effortlessly captures the subtle shadings of the starkly beautiful text, while Boston’s virtuosic Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra accompanies with fistfuls of fire.
The Death of Simone Weil stands out in the jazz vocal tradition in terms of scale and ambition, with a depth and economy of expression that are worthy of the subject. All in all, it’s an exciting soirée with the far-out, the insane, and the beautifully strange.