Kitty Margolis is widely recognized as one of the most innovative and inspired singers in jazz today. Her imaginative improvisations, dynamism, and inventive scat have redefined the art of jazz vocals. Jazz Times has praised her "visionary approach to melody and rhythm," and noted New York writer Stanley Crouch observes, "Kitty Margolis is an original who has made the heritage of all the great jazz singers her own. Beyond her virtuoso technique, she has an epic feeling, a willful breadth of emotion that is artfully focused on the details of life. She is not afraid to be as intimate as a diary or as athletic as necessary in order to stand up to the power of her band. Like all true artists, Kitty Margolis adds something good to the world that it did not possess before she came along. She is, as they say, "the real thing."
To celebrate her 15th year as a Mad-Kat artist, she brought her recording career full circle, taping live in front of a packed house at the old On Broadway Theater in her hometown of San Francisco, only a few doors down from the legendary but now defunct Jazz Workshop, where she made her debut album. It is a rare event when a recording captures the excitement of a live concert. With Heart and Soul: Live in San Francisco, Margolis has done just that--it is brimming with the raw energy, subtle beauty and unpredictable excitement of the singer's club set, down to her dialogue with the audience and off-the-cuff humor.
But then, despite her reputation as an artist who creates complex, cutting edge music in the recording studio, Margolis is most comfortable live in front of an audience. As the Los Angeles Times' Don Heckman wrote in his review of a recent concert, "Margolis offered a performance that was a brilliant reminder of the great pleasures of jazz singing when it is delivered by a mature, gifted, creative artist. Her set dispensed multileveled layers of pleasure. There was, first of all, the sheer sense of joy in performing that was a palpable presence in everything she did. Completely centered, completely in the moment, Margolis' total involvement in the enjoyment of making music reached out to embrace her players. Underlying and enhancing all her other extraordinary qualities, there was Margolis' sophisticated musicality--an ear for harmony, an improvisational imagination and a buoyant sense of rhythmic swing that place her at the very top level of the jazz vocal art."