How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Jazz has a long history in San Francisco. Kitty Margolis, who grew up hangin' at the Keystone Korner, sings about the people who make the Golden Gate city unique. Settled by the Spanish centuries ago and shaken unequivocally by the Gold Rush of 1849, the city has harbored all kinds of people. The last 50 years have seen radical changes that affected its music dramatically. The singer's program allows her to demonstrate the wide variety that exists in San Francisco jazz. Her unique approach to familiar songs makes this album both pleasant and enriching. Margolis weaves a ballad with obvious sentiment. Her strength lies in the ability to project her interpretations around the world. From Rio to Paris, Edinburgh and Morocco, her music moves through exotic landscapes that summon up spirits from afar. Up-tempo fires burn with excitement throughout the session. Fine support from Paul Nagel, John Schiflett and Jason Lewis makes this straight-ahead session impressive. Less effective, however, is Margolis' use of her own overdubbed vocal lines. Rather than enhance, the overdubs tend to muddy the waters. Solo and ensemble support from Eric Crystal and Steve Erquiaga serve to complement the sassy singer on her fourth Mad-Kat release, which is sure to please any straight-ahead lover of fine jazz.
Track Listing: I Want to be Happy; It's You; You Just Might Get It; Money; Lonely at the Top; Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year; Devil May Care; Without a Song; Heart's Desire; The Best is Yet to Come; Take It With Me.
Personnel: Kitty Margolis- vocals; Paul Nagel- piano; John Schiflett- bass; Jason Lewis- drums; Eric Crystal- alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Steve Erquiaga- guitar; Mike Spiro- percussion; Joyce Cooling- guitar on "It's You;" Jay Wagner- piano on "It's You;" Scott Steed- bass on "Money" and "Heart's Desire;" John Burr- organ on "Money;" Rich Kuhns- accordion on "Heart's Desire" and "Take It With Me;" Jamie Sieber- cello on "Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year."