74

Kate McGarry: Girl Talk

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Kate McGarry: Girl Talk 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.

Singer Kate McGarry hails from a musical childhood in Massachusetts that led to African-American musical studies at Amherst. A fine pedigree by any estimation. But rather than nurture a technical/theoretical singing facility, McGarry instead began to cultivate a more organic and fertile vocal style, partially under the tutelage of tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp. McGarry's approach evolved over the singer's four Palmetto releases before Girl Talk (Show Me (2003), Mercy Streets (2005), The Target (2007) and Less is More...Nothing is Everything (2008)).

The voice McGarry arrives with on Girl Talk is one from the perfectly scrubbed and wholesome girl-next-door. Her tone and delivery are effortlessly playful, flirty without being common, with a sexy confidence and secure center...and that is just on the title piece. McGarry takes the dated Neal Hefti piece and updates it with a wholesome sardonicism that avoids poisoning itself with bitterness. She does this while the band takes a nostalgic romp through a Saturday evening with Lawrence Welk, propelled by Gary Versace's grand period organ playing. Husband and guitarist Keith Ganz adds the smokiness necessary for mood. It is very nicely played and sung.

Also a revelation is the disc's opening number, "We Kiss in a Shadow," from Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I (1951). McGarry liberates this song from the stage, giving it a shot of what Laurie Antonioli did "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" on american Dreams (Intrinsic Music, 2010), a loose and almost foreign arrangement and delivery with seamless swing. McGarry shoots this same arrow through the Gershwin's "The Man I Love" and "O Cantador," where she trades vocal counterpoint with Kurt Elling.

Girl Talk is a successful outing by any estimation.


Track Listing: We Kiss in the Shadow; Girl Talk; I Just Found Out About Love; The Man I Love; O Cantador; This Heart of Mine; I Know That You Know; Looking Back; Charade; It’s a Wonderful World.

Personnel: Kate McGarry: vocals; Keith Ganz: guitars; Gary Versace: organ, piano; Reuben Rogers: bass; Clarence Penn: drums and percussion; Kurt Elling: vocals (5).

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Palmetto Records | Style: Vocal


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Alien Flower Sutra" CD/LP/Track Review Alien Flower Sutra
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "Skronky Tonk" CD/LP/Track Review Skronky Tonk
by James Nadal
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "Parodies: Jazz Music for Violin and Octet" CD/LP/Track Review Parodies: Jazz Music for Violin and Octet
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: March 21, 2016
Read "Alpha Nebula Expanded: The Monster Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Alpha Nebula Expanded: The Monster Peace
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Intenso!" CD/LP/Track Review Intenso!
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "Evolution - Seeds and Streams" CD/LP/Track Review Evolution - Seeds and Streams
by Phil Barnes
Published: December 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!