How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Her self-produced album showcases the Detroit native's songwriting: 7 of the 11 songs are hers. They're refreshing songs. "No Ordinary Joe" is based on the chord changes to "Pennies From Heaven." Kathy Kosins has studied the jazz repertoire, and consumed several years in creating this album. Her thin, light vocal quality, however, deters her from convincing. A veteran of pop music and R&B experiences, she's forced into a direction that holds her tightly in its grasp. Even the light, bossa nova mood on her "Love Me Like a Song" turns into an R&B experience. Other aspects of her project turn out uneven. Howard Levy isn't convincing in a smooth jazz role, while Michael King turns over a Jimi Hendrix "Foxey Lady" quite well. Remember the beautiful theme from Jackie Gleason's CBS television shows? "Melancholy Serenade" was a big, broad and beautiful showcase tune. Kosins uses it to close out the session, and the mood is lost. One high point comes through "Between Your Heart and Mine," with its Lambert, Hendricks and Ross sentiment. An upbeat original, the song swings with lyrics and scat in an uplifting scene. Kosins swings merrily, but not with the soulful expression needed for these mood swings.
Track Listing: I Was There; Paradise; Foxey Lady; Just By Looking In Your Eyes; No Ordinary Joe; Maybe September; Livin In Style; Between Your Heart and Mine; Love Me Like a Song; Gee Baby (Ain't I Good to You); Melancholy Serenade.
Personnel: Kathy Kosins- vocal; Rick Roe, Ellen Rowe, Paul Libman- piano; Gary Nester- synths; Paul Keller, Eric Hochberg- bass; Gerald Cleaver, Danny Cox, Pete Siers- drums; Ruben Alvarez, Dennis Sheridan- percussion; Dave Onderdonk, Michael King- guitar; Larry Nozaro, Keith Kaminsky- alto saxophone; Andrew Bishop, Jim Gailloreto, Shawn "Thunder" Wallace- tenor saxophone; David Luther- baritone saxophone; Rob Parton, Jeff Stout, Paul Finkbeiner- trumpet; Tim Coffman, Chris Smith- trombone; Howard Levy- harmonica on "Paradise;" Jim Gwinn- cymbals on "Melancholy Serenade;" Michael Whalen- vibraphone, strings on "Melancholy Serenade;" Rob Ripho- vibraphone on "Maybe September;" Sunny Wilkinson- added vocal on "Just By Looking In Your Eyes."