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
The first jazz record I received
as a visiting gift from my
Japanese uncle at his
international division of
Toshiba EMI Tokyo was a
sample copy of Miles Davis'
Bitches Brew. A game
changer redirecting my
browsing habits and collection.