149

Kitty Margolis: Heart and Soul: Live in San Francisco

By

Sign in to view read count
Kitty Margolis: Heart and Soul: Live in San Francisco Kitty Margolis has a solid reputation and an enthusiastic fan base, and this recording shows why. A rock-solid singer with great chops, Margolis ranges through the Great American Songbook, throwing in a couple of curves on this live session.

In her notes, Margolis states that improvisation is at the core of her art. The air of spontaneity comes across in this setting and it is invigorating. The scat chorus on "Summertime lifts it above many of the rote versions that abound; the audience roars its approval for this tour de force performance.

The careful interaction among the musicians is also apparrent. As she notes, "I love this band. The rhythm section breathes along with the singer in the reveries of "Heart and Soul and "Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year. Drummer Allison Miller impresses with her mixture of fire and filigree.

In the liner notes Will Friedwald writes, "Kitty Margolis is one of the best 'traditional' jazz singers I've heard in years. This focus on tradition, however, is both a strength and a weakness. Everything she sings is delivered with skill and feeling, but is that enough with repertoire that has been mined repeatedly over the years, especially by masters like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae, among others? There are so many distinguished songs in (and around) the classic tradition that don't get aired often enough that one wonders why the same tunes must be called on again and again.

What a treat, then, when she steps into Mose Allison's Southern-fried "Your Mind Is on Vacation. Margolis and pianist Michael Bluestein really dig into this rarely-heard witty, homespun blues. Likewise, she brings a bluesy ease to "I'm Always Drunk in San Francisco, a song that was meat and drink to McRae. Although she acquits herself well, she does not quite possess the song. But with these tunes she steps out of the tried and true.

George Gershwin and Richard Rodgers wrote a greater number of superior songs than the few usually brought out by singers today. The American Songbook is capacious, rich with worthy material. I'd love to hear Margolis go on a treasure hunt for these neglected gems (like Alec Wilder's "While We're Young on this session) to give them her considerable all.

Track Listing: Love Walked In, A Sleepin' Bee, Summertime, Heart and Soul, Your Mind Is on Vacation, Secret Love, Surrey with the Fringe on Top, Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year, I'm Always Drunk in San Francisco, My Favorite Things, While We're Young.

Personnel: Kitty Margolis, vocals; Michael Bluestein, piano; Jon Evans, bass; Allison Miller, drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Mad-Kat | Style: Vocal


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Living Water" CD/LP/Track Review Living Water
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Poetry For The Beat Generation" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry For The Beat Generation
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Tangofied III" CD/LP/Track Review Tangofied III
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Rekihndled" CD/LP/Track Review Rekihndled
by Doug Collette
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Intenso!" CD/LP/Track Review Intenso!
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Jim Crow's Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Jim Crow's Tears
by James Nadal
Published: November 10, 2016

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!