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Kathy Kosins has a smart mouth. It is manifested in the jazz vocal jewels she composes and sings. The Detroit native sang back up vocals for Was (Not Was), as well as Nelson Riddle's Orchestra before releasing her maiden voyage All In A Dream's Work in 1995. She followed All... a year later with Standard Time. Six years after that, Ms. Kosins provides a real treat with Mood Swings.
Immediately the listener will note that Ms. Kosins pens the majority of music on this jazz vocal recording with a couple of very notable exceptions. Those are Jimi Hendrix's "Foxey Lady" preformed more efficiently and effectively than any cover by Cassandra Wilson, and that says a lot because I think she is the premiere interpreter of the oddball jazz classic. Ms. Kosins writes with the jazz masters in mind, saluting several. "I Was There" honors Bud Powell and Lester Young. The superb "No Ordinary Joe" tips its hat to Babs Gonzalez and Eddie Jefferson.
On the standards side, the aforementioned "Foxey Lady" is funky and "Gee Baby (Ain't I Good to You) is pretty straight-forward, at least by Kosins standards. She pleasantly closes the disc with Jackie Gleason's theme for the Honeymooners, "Melancholy Serenade." Ms. Kosin's voice is well-dressed and her delivery, no nonsense. She delivers the upbeat, Like "No Ordinary Joe" with confidence and panache and the ballads, like "Maybe September" with a cognac head-filling warmth. Mood Swings is a fine and fun ride, without a boring note played, Mood Swings is highly recommended.
Track Listing: I Was There; Paradise; Foxey Lady; Just By Looking In Your Eyes; No Ordinary Joe; Maybe September; Livin In Style; Between Your Heart And Mine; Love You Like A Song; Gee Baby (Ain't I Good To You); Melancholy Serenade. (Total Time: 50:00).
Personnel: Kathy Kosins: Vocals; Rick Row: Piano; Paul Keller: Bass; Gerald Cleaver Drums; Jim Gailloreto: Tenor Saxophone; Rob Parton: Trumpet; Tim Coffman: Trombone.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.