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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz: Genevieve & Ferdinand - Live

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All About Jazz colleague Dan Bilawsky indulges no hyperbole when he describes vocalist Kate McGarry or Genevieve and Ferdinand: Live: “There is no greater beacon of sincerity, honesty and emotional purity than Kate McGarry...Genevieve & Ferdinand doesn't contain bold proclamations or daring musical acts, but it's filled with some of the most genuine music that anybody is likely to ever hear." High praise indeed, but Kate McGarry, along with Gretchen Parlato, Sara Gazarek, Becca Stevens, Rebecca Martin and Tierney Sutton make up the most significant jazz vocal movement since Cassandra Wilson released Blue Light 'Til Dawn (Blue Note) in 1993. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz: Genevieve & Ferdinand - Live

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Kate McGarry has always defied easy classification. She's a jazz singer, and a folk singer too; she could also be filed under mainstream pop, but then, what's all that esoteric Brazilian music doing in her repertoire? The answer is simple: McGarry is her own genre, applying her clear and beautiful voice to whatever material speaks to her soul. This is obvious on Genevieve and Ferdinand, where she's equally passionate and expressive whether interpreting the American Songbook, James Taylor, Toninho Horta, or her own pensive original; her signature eloquence is especially intimate here, when her only accompaniment is her ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz: Genevieve & Ferdinand

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There is no greater beacon of sincerity, honesty and emotional purity than Kate McGarry. She's proven it time and again, whether singing standards, modern day favorites, originals or obscurities, and she does so once more on Genevieve & Ferdinand. In some ways this album marks a new beginning for McGarry; it's her first live album, first duo recording, and first release on the Sunnyside imprint. All of that might lead people to believe that McGarry's starting with a blank slate here, but nothing could be further from the truth. She actually capitalizes on her own history and ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Kate McGarry/Keith Ganz Duo Palooza: New York, NY, April 20, 2013

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Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz Duo55 BarNew York, NYApril 20, 2013 Informality and high art don't typically walk hand-in-hand but, every now and then, when the stars align, these two ideals find a happy marriage. Such was the case when vocalist Kate McGarry and guitarist Keith Ganz came into town to play a gig at 55 Bar. This unassuming basement nightspot plays host to some of the finest musicians around, yet it remains one of the most casual jazz haunts in the city, ready to welcome those in-the-know or the curious who simply walk ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kate McGarry: Girl Talk

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There are many reasons to like vocalist Kate McGarry's Girl Talk.There's the lively set list, first of all--a mix of all-too-well-known and too-little-known standards, with a fine Brazilian number thrown in. There's the uniform excellence of the band: witness Gary Versace's idiomatic organ accompaniment on “Girl Talk"; guitarist Keith Ganz--sensitive throughout, but especially on the forlorn folk tune “Looking Back"; the stately Brazilian duet “O Cantador," with Kurt Elling; and bassist Reuben Rogers' nice feature on “I Just Found Out About Love."McGarry herself approaches every mood and tempo with ease and assurance. Her bluesy reading of ...

NITE & DISK

Kate McGarry: Beauty and the Bus

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The BusI recently drove into the Big Apple to see singer Kate McGarry's band celebrate the release of their Girl Talk CD (Palmetto, 2012) at the Jazz Standard. It was a stressful drive, given the rush-hour timing and need to watch for idiots steering two tons of metal with their knees as they text “Wassup?" to their friends.But when I finally reached the club, I came upon a legal parking place, right there on the street. Huzzah! So I quickly lined up for the swoop, shifted into R, and ...a taxi zipped in to let somebody ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kate McGarry: Girl Talk

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While the world has no shortage of fine female singers, few have the musical depth, sense of passion and artistic ambitions of the divine Kate McGarry. It's doubtful that any other jazz singer could convincingly cover The Cars, weave their way through pianist Fred Hersch's take on Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, and triumphantly match wits, wisdom and sounds in the vocal super-group known as Moss. She even managed to transfix a discerning 2011 Newport Jazz Festival audience during a monsoon-like storm while singing with John Hollenbeck's Large Ensemble. McGarry's public labeling as a “jazz singer" is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kate McGarry: Girl Talk

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At a time when it seems that everyone is a jazz singer releasing new music in a male-female distribution of 1 to 10, what is it exactly that separates the merely good singers from the truly great ones. Because of the sheer number of singers and relative high quality of jazz singing today, it is brutally hard for a singer to register above the base noise he or she is surrounded with. Equally hard is critical evaluation of such music. But there are still qualities that isolate that superb few. One of these is purity of voice. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kate McGarry: Girl Talk

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Someone should tell vocalists today--at least the ones we see on those TV talent hunts--that singing doesn't have to be some exercise in screaming self-annihilation, that beauty and style is more about composure and command. You could tell them, or you can hip them to Girl Talk, by Kate McGarry.McGarry, a jazz vocalist, has covered various pop and folk songs by the likes of Peter Gabriel, Sting, Björk and Joni Mitchell on prior recordings. Her style defies categorization. Or, perhaps she has been saying that jazz has become 21st century folk music.Like her previous disc, If ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kate McGarry: Less is More... Nothing is Everything

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Coming across Kate McGarry's If Less is More... Nothing is Everything on an iPod in shuffle mode, it's possible that “Man of God," might be followed by “The Priest" and “Just What I Needed;" a couple of spiritual songs followed by a slow acoustic version of the hit song by The Cars. Listeners might at first be reminded of Sara Groves, Suzanne Vega, and Joni Mitchell, and not really understand the depth of McGarry's jazz chops until hearing “You're My Thrill" or “Let's Face the Music." She can flat out deliver a jazz lyric. In fairness to the producer, these ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Kate McGarry, Fred Hersch and Ted Nash: A Trio from Palmetto

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The music industry has been struggling to adapt to the death of brick-and-mortar outlets, the increasing independence of prominent artists, and the practice of downloading just one or two songs from an album, and not buying the rest. Each year more jazz labels shrink, dissolve into non-musical corporations or disappear altogether, inspiring some that remain to resort to gimmickry or musical dilution to hang onto their customers.

In the midst of all this mutation and compromise comes the steady and selective output of Palmetto Records, the 18-year-old indie that does most of its recording at an ...

INTERVIEWS

Kate McGarry: The Turtle, The Paradox, and The Big Yes

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It's a busy time for singer Kate McGarry, with European and U.S. tours, CD release festivities, imminent professoring at the New York Manhattan School of Music, and recording with the new vocal group, Moss. Her newest CD, The Target (Palmetto, 2007), hit Jazz Week at #37 and rose to #18 barely two weeks later; it's also climbing fast on the college charts, reflecting the broad appeal of McGarry's beautiful voice and rangy material. Married since 2004 to guitarist and band mate Keith Ganz, McGarry brings something new and refreshing to the music scene: true talent without pretension. As pianist/composer Fred ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kate McGarry: The Target

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Kate McGarry makes full use of her lilting, pitch- perfect voice on The Target, her third release for Palmetto Records. Like many jazz singers today, McGarry culls some of her musical ideas from non-jazz idioms like pop and folk; in McGarry's case, this hybridization of influences expands rather than limits her individual vocal expression. According to the Palmetto Records website, McGarry bears the distinction of being the first and only vocalist signed to the label. An odd distinction--perhaps the company doesn't like vocalists. McGarry, though, is hard not to like. At first listen McGarry's performance is simple--deceptively ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kate McGarry: The Target

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There's a whole lot of nonsense in Vocal Land these days, since it's so easy for the earnest but talent-challenged to produce a CD and hire a publicist. There are occasional gems in the mud, for sure, but the field is crowded with wannabes. And the majors don't help when they push faux sexuality, or turn happy songs into dirges and try to sell that as “depth.

Into this climate of cynical manipulation comes Kate McGarry's third CD, The Target, and it's a blessed relief. When McGarry sings, you hear not only a distinctively sweet, ...



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