One of the biggest treats of reviewing jazz CDs is occasionally have my ears opened wide to a thoroughly excellent CD by an artist or group I've never heard of before. This CD is one such case. Hue & Cry is basically a duo of vocalist Pat Kane and pianist Greg Kane. This is intelligent stuff. Nine of the eleven tunes are by the Kanes. The lyrics are meaty and thoughtful and at times cynical and angst-ridden - no vapid love songs here. The music and the attitude is hip, contemporary, funky, jazzy, intellectual and often in minor keys. The ultra-sassy, funky treatment of "Makin' Whoopee" is a treat as a new take on an old tune. Blazing horns open the CD with "Free Like You." The CD closes with an emotional vocal-piano duet called "How Do You Repair a Heart?" The success of the CD is assured with a bevy of top-notch guest soloists, such as Mike Stern, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, and Danny Gottlieb. (Linn AKD057)
Tracks:Free Like You; Iron Cage; All True Man; Remember Me; Virus of Love; I'll Be There for You; Finally; Good and Evil; Makin' Whoopee; Austere and Beautiful; How Do You Repair a Broken Heart? (59:51)
Pat Kane - lead vocals; Greg Kane - acoustic piano, Rhodes, clavinet; Tommy Smith - tenor and soprano sax; Mike Stern - guitar; Brian Kellock - acoustic piano, Rhodes; Michael Brecker - tenor sax; Randy Brecker - trumpet; Danny Gottlieb - drums; Nigel Hitchcock - alto and tenor sax; Steve Sidwell - trumpet and flugelhorn; Ewen Vernal - bass; Sandro Cianncio - drums; Nick Pamphilon - Rhodes.
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.