136

Kate McGarry: Mercy Streets

Brian P. Lonergan By

Sign in to view read count
Kate McGarry: Mercy Streets Singer Kate McGarry has made a beautiful album with Mercy Streets, though the music is not easily pigeonholed in any category of jazz. The largely acoustic album, with landscapes created by McGarry's vocals and guitar-based arrangements, follows in the genre-defying path cleared in recent years by Cassandra Wilson and Marvin Sewell's work together.

To be sure, some tracks on Mercy Streets are unmistakably jazz: McGarry's playful scatting on "But Not For Me against Sean Smith's walking bass and Kenny Wollesen's brushes dancing across the drums, for example. But like Wilson, McGarry also mixes in covers of rock and folk music, such as Peter Gabriel's "Mercy Street and Joni Mitchell's "Chelsea Morning. They're attractive, organic renditions, inhabiting a space closer to the originals than a more radical reworking of the music.

High points on the album include the sinuous and sensual tango of "Whatever Lola Wants, a moody, downtempo "How Deep Is the Ocean, and the dance-inducing Brazilian feel of "Aquelas Coisas Todas. On the brief instrumental "Snow Picnic, McGarry virtuosically doubles Keith Ganz' lead guitar, leaping all over the place, while on Björk's "Joga, Wollesen's unremitting, rapid hand drumming conveys the song's subtitle, "State of Emergency.

McGarry appears on Fred Hersch's recent Leaves of Grass and here the pianist returns the favor, appearing on the Björk cover and on his original "Stars, where he delivers an inventive and compelling solo. McGarry's original "Going In is a straight-ahead acoustic guitar pop song, with a catchy melody and fun lyrics. She's being lowered into love with a rope tied around her waist: "One tug/means I'm running out of air/Two tugs/means I've found something that's beating and I'm holding it with care . Mercy Streets offers an impressive variety of musical styles and arrangements, and above it all rides McGarry's passionate voice.


Track Listing: Chelsea Morning; Whatever Lola Wants; How Deep Is the Ocean; But Not for Me; Mercy Street; Joga (State of Emergency); Snow Picnic; Aquelas Coisas Todas; Stars; Trouble of the World; Going In; New Orleans

Personnel: Kate McGarry, vocals; Keith Ganz, guitars; Steve Cardenas, guitars; Sean Smith, bass; Kenny Wollesen, drums and percussion; Fred Hersch, piano on tracks 6,9

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Palmetto Records | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Happy Madness" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Madness
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Dogs" CD/LP/Track Review Dogs
by Doug Collette
Published: February 28, 2016
Read "Burning Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Burning Ghosts
by Troy Collins
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Pomona" CD/LP/Track Review Pomona
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 16, 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!