Vocalist Katharine "Katchie" Cartwright is certainly one extremely talented individual. A Ph. D. in ethnomusicology provides a clue of her caliber on Tales & Tongues. An educator, professional singer and musician, her experience with workshops throughout Europe, South America, the Caribbean, Asia and West Africa, has prepared her well for this particular project, where Cartwrightalong with her group Le Monde Caché ("the hidden world")presents a collection of standards from the world stage, using music from what she terms, the "global songbook." Possessed of a velvet voice, Cartwright draws on her worldly background to sing ten songs in French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Yiddish and Ladino.
Besides her gift for song, Cartwright compliments her singing by playing a mean flute.This is the latest joint project with husband/alto saxophonist Richard Oppenheim, with whom Cartwright has performed and recorded since 1980. The song selection is uncommon: there are some familiar standards, like Antonio Carlos Jobim's vibrant "Triste" and "Chega de Saudade," both sung in Portuguese; but the Yiddish "Bay Mir Bitsu Sheyn," and "Ikh Hob Dikh Tsufil Lib," and Ladino "Alta Va La Luna," represent some of Cartwright's more unusual choices.
Bruno Martino's standard, "Estate," is the disc's defining piece. Cartwright is sensuous, singing in Italian, while husband Oppenheim is superb, delivering the session's best solo. Charles Trenet's classic "Que Reste-t-il De Nos Amours" provides another outstanding moment, with the singer emotionally delivering the French lyrics. Flutist Cartwright is featured on the closer, Victor Young's "Delilah," the disc's only instrumental. Whether performing on the flute or singing in different tongues, Cartwright and Le Monde Caché tell a marvelous musical tale worth repeated spins; an amazing and compelling performance.
Alta Va La Luna; Bay Mir Bitsu Sheyn; Sous Le Ciel De Paris; Ikh Hob Dikh Tsufil Lib (Verse); Ikh Hob Dikh Tsufil Lib; Triste; Estate; El Dia Que Me Quieras; Chega de Saudade; Que Reste-t-il De Nos Amours; Delilah.
Katchie Cartwright: vocals, flute; Richard Oppenheim: alto saxophone; Mark Lomanno: piano; Billy Satterwhite: bass; Kevin Hess: drums.