Ann Dyer Puts A New Spin On Beatles' Revolver

Vocalist to go national with release of jazz interpretation of landmark pop album.

San Francisco Bay Area vocalist Ann Dyer turned plenty of heads when she released her deeply interpretive take on the Beatles — Revolver: A New Spin — locally over the summer on her own label, Mr. Brown.

Now, a deal with Premonition Records, which has major-label distribution via Blue Note Records, will expose her unique disc to the rest of the nation and beyond.

Though Dyer has worlds of affection for the tunes on the Beatles' landmark 1964 album Revolver, she insisted she never intended to do a Beatles project.

"If anyone came to me and said, 'Hey, why don't you do a jazz version of the Beatles?' I would have said, 'Uh, no,' " Dyer said, laughing.

What happened was that she and her band, No Good Time Fairies, had been performing the Revolver song "Tomorrow Never Knows" when she decided to add another tune from the record, "I'm Only Sleeping," to the repertoire.

"So I got the record ... and realized I loved every one of these songs," Dyer said. "So we decided to record them."

Dyer and her band — Peter Apfelbaum on tenor sax, Hafez Modirzadeh on karna and tenor sax, Carla Kihlstedt on violin, Jeff Buenz on guitar, Rob Burger on accordion, John Shifflett on bass and Jason Lewis on drums and tabla — put the tunes through raga-like workouts, with soloists and Dyer's rhapsodic vocals darting in and out of the wide spaces between the melodies.

In spring she'll tour with Shifflett and Lewis, performing at Chicago's Hot House on May 4, New York's Makor on May 9 and 10 and Philadelphia's Tin Angel on May 12. Additional dates are yet to be announced.

On Saturday Dyer and her trio will join bansuri master Deepak Ram and choreographer Erika Shuch to perform "Of Love and Other Demons" at 8 p.m. at the Florence Gould Theater, Palace of the Legion of Honor, in San Francisco.