If the major purposes - - or at least some of them - - of a jazz singer are to inject a fresh breath into standards and to make sense of newer material, then San Francisco singer Kitty Margolis sits at the top of the class for achieving these noble goals. The West Coast vocalist is well known for her insightful interpretations of standard and pop material, a reputation she solidly established with her previous three releases for her Mad-Kat label. This latest entry does nothing to diminish her perfect track record nor her reputation. Whether it be the Dorough/Kirk "Devil May Care" or her own "You just Might Get It", with Eric Crystal's surging sax in close support, Margolis energizes with some upbeat romping that will leave the listener gasping. On the flip side of the coin, her seductive way with a ballad is in full force on such cuts as Dave Frishberg's "Heart's Desire" where she gets help from Rick Kuhns' accordion. She gives Nancy Marano's version of this tune a real run for the money. Her emotional range from deep huskiness to bright, eager cute is used to good do on "The Best Is Yet to Come" where not only the song, but also Paul Nagel's piano, get a vigorous workout. Margolis unique phrasing comes into play on "Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year", where her purposeful use of the pause gives this tune an unusual but engaging cadence. Jamie Sieber's cello adds to the richness of the cut. Left Coast Life is a major jazz vocal release and is thoroughly recommended. Visit Kitty at her Internet home at www.kittymargolis.com.
Track Listing: I Want to Be Happy; It's You; You Just Might Get It; Money; Lonely at the Top; Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year; Devil May Care; Without a Song; Heart's Desire; The Best Is Yet to Come; Take It with Me
Personnel: Kitty Margolis - Vocal; Paul Nagel, Jay Wagner - Piano; John Schiflett, Scott Steed - Bass; Jason Lewis - Drums; Eric Crystal - Saxophones; Mike Spiro - Percussion; Steve Erquiaga, Joyce Cooling - Guitar; John Burr - Organ; Rich Kuhns - Accordion; Jamie Sieber - Cello
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total)
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total). He saw an alto sax on my neck and said: Hey, how about you there, would you like to play something for us? I played a piece with the piano. OK, said Lee, how about you play something unaccompanied? Oh yeah! I was deep into transcribing Sonny Stitt and pretty much into playing as fast as possible as many right notes as possible. So I played Oleo in about 300 beats per minute and was very proud of myself. Lee was tapping his foot all the way through. Hmm, he said, that was in time and all that... (I thought - yeah, of course, haha!) and then he said, You've got a lot of quantity, how about quality? It took me 15 years to realize what he meant.