How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
With her program of romantic kinship, Kate McGarry reaches around the world to distant lands. Her phrasing, meanwhile, carries an unmistakable resemblance to Carmen McRae. Fresh and strong, the singer's delivery blends with piano, bass, drums and guitar to evoke mainstream jazz sentiments.
Scat singing on "East of the Sun," McGarry improvises as an instrumentalist. She, guitarist Steve Cardenas and bassist Scott Colley take their turns at the solo mic' with outside impressions that drive each other higher and higher. Kenny Wolleson provides crisp accompaniment in line with these higher standards. Karen Hammack, an exceptional, TDWR Los Angeles area pianist, brings the accompaniment together with her solid approach.
McGarry's clear voice quality and natural jazz phrasing bring her closer to the listener with each selection. She sings two songs in Portuguese and adds strings for a few others. Eric Von Essen's "One Eye Laughs, One Eye Weeps" takes on a dreamy, philosophical mood through McGarry's lyrics. For the most part, however, the album is all about communicating with an audience in a natural manner.
Whether she's interpreting romantic lyrics for a nightclub audience or zestfully trading fours for the world to hear, Kate McGarry proves that she's got what it takes to compete in a jazz world overcrowded with female singers.
Track Listing: Show Me; Gypsy in my Soul; Moon and Sand; The Thrill is Gone; Oceano; Aqui O; East of the Sun; This is Always; Get Out of Town; One Eye Laughs, One Eye Weeps.
Personnel: Kate McGarry- vocals; Karen Hammack- piano; Steve Cardenas- guitars; Scott Colley- bass; Kenny Wolleson- drums; Bill McHenry- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Mauro Refrosco- percussion; Chris Devine- violin; David Kovac- viola; Greg Snedeker- cello; Joe Hinrichs- percussion on "Gypsy in my Soul?.