The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde unveiled a striking interpretation of Charles Mingus’ “Meditation on a Pair Of Wire Cutters,” set to appear on her upcoming album, Valve Bone Woe, out September 6th via via BMG.
The song finds Hynde and the Valve Bone Woe Ensemble condensing Mingus’ 23-minute original into a hypnotic three-minute tune moored by an assortment of drums and other percussion, as well as the guiding thunk of Mingus’ own instrument, the upright bass. Atop the rumble, Hynde’s choral vocals waft amidst a mix of woodwinds, horns and reverb-soaked guitar.
Valve Bone Woe finds Hynde offering jazz-tinged versions of songs by a range of artists including the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, John Coltrane, Nick Drake, Ray Davies and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Previously released album cuts include Hynde and the Valve Bone Woe Ensemble’s takes on the Beach Boys’ “Caroline, No” and Don Raye and Gene de Paul’s “You Don’t Know What Love Is.”
In a statement, Hynde said of the LP, “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.”
Hynde will perform much of Valve Bone Woe alongside the L.A. Philharmonic at a special concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles July 6th.