Pretenders founder and female punk rock legend Chrissie Hynde has taken on a new genre of music with her new song “Mediation on a Pair of Wire Cutters.” The song is a nearly-four-minutes long, colorful and modern rendition of jazz pianist Charles Mingus’ “Meditation (for A Pair of Wire Cutters)” which is 23 minutes.
The song is a part of her jazz cover album Valve Bone Woe, which will be released in September in collaboration with The Valve Bone Woe Ensemble. The album is said to feature renditions of songs from jazz and folk singers such as Frank Sinatra, Nick Drake and John Coltrane.
“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,” Hynde said in an interview with Clash.
The singer confessed during the interview that she’s a sucker for covers, especially ones of jazz songs that give her more space to be creative due to their complex structures.
Starting out with an energetic and percussive jam section, the song takes on a smooth jazzy flare backed by a swaying upright bass. The wind section stands out amongst the strong percussive backing as it delivers some smooth jazz solos emulating the melodies in Mingus’s original song.
The intense and dynamic sounds keep you hooked as the jazz orchestra varies from gentle tones to animated musical climaxes in the midst of the song.
Hynde’s rendition adds a new level of energy to Mingus’ song proving her ability to give justice to every song that she covers.
The album comes as a surprise for her fans as she went on a nearly five-year hiatus with her last solo album, Stockholm, being released in 2014. The last time the singer went on tour was in 2014, but fans will have an opportunity to see her this summer.
Hynde will perform the songs off her new album on July 6th at the Hollywood Bowl with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Thomas Wilkins.