239

Kat Walker: Jazz Skat Gumbo

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Kat Walker: Jazz Skat Gumbo At first brush, Kat Walker's Jazz Skat Gumbo appears to be just one more collection of jazz standards sung by one of the deluge of singers streaming into the already crowded jazz vocals market. Kat Walker indeed sings the standards, but she and her band hail from New Orleans, a fact that adds a decidedly Southern richness and complexity to the performances. This does not manifest as an incorporation of Dixieland elements, but rather an earthier, peatier quality to the songs, a quality first realized in Walker's slightly odd and raspy voice.

Walker's voice is unusual in that it is not exactly pretty, but it is unique, accurate, and precise, not unlike that of Louis Armstrong's. She adds a sensual edge to her singing that complements the two-fisted barrel-piano playing of Bart Ramsey, who propels all of the selections with his assertive style. Tenor saxophonist Dominick Grillo does not mire himself with prim balladic niceties, instead opting for an almost Texas Tenor approach; full bore and wide open. The sum of this is that these performances are gleefully more "Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer" than "Moonlight in Vermont."

Walker and company's approach is best heard on a bossa "Cry Me A River" and an extra humid "Fever." Ramsey wedges solos into the pieces sideways, giving them the overall structure of a cubist painting. Grillo demands attention when soloing, affairs all well conceived and performed. "Ain't Misbehavin" and "Over the Rainbow" are special treats, each presented with a swinging momentum. Walker's interpretations satisfy the desire for the standard fare performed in a non-standard manner. This is beautifully funky, viral, infectious music.


Track Listing: It Don't Mean a Thing; Cry Me a River; My Favorite Things; Fever; The Lady Is a Tramp; Am I Blue; When You're Smilin; Mack the Knife; Bobbie Mcgee; Loverman; I Got Rhythm Hernando's Hideaway; Ain't Misbehavin'; Over the Rainbow.

Personnel: Kat Walker: vocals; Bart Ramsey: piano; Dominick Grillo: saxophone; Spike Perkins: bass; Dennis O'Toole: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Vocal


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Central Line" CD/LP/Track Review Central Line
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder
by Doug Collette
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Unspoken" CD/LP/Track Review Unspoken
by Andrew Luhn
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities" CD/LP/Track Review S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 19, 2016
Read "Bridges From The East" CD/LP/Track Review Bridges From The East
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "Rubicon" CD/LP/Track Review Rubicon
by John Kelman
Published: July 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!