Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

74

Katie Guthorn: Why Not Smile?

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
San Francisco-based actress, educator and singer Katie Guthorn is primarily known for her work in pop, R&B, Motown and even country music, having performed with groups such as the Soul Delights and the Randy Craig Trip. Though jazz has been part of her repertoire in the past, it has never truly been her main dish or passion. Jazz, however, is exactly what Why Not Smile? is all about, and the singer that does a superlative job voicing the music of Rodgers and Hart, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, among others.

Making this jazz project all the more intimate, Guthorn fronts an intriguing quartet. The recording is a family affair: husband Terry Haggerty plays guitar, his brother, producer Tim Haggerty, is also on bass and keyboards, and Tim's son Aaron does the honors on drums. Tenor saxophonist Armen Boyd, the only non-relative in the group, rounds out the personnel.

Old, oft-recorded standards are the main course on this album of light jazz. Guthorn's tender vocal approach seems well-suited for the sensitive ballads that make up the majority of the selections. Straight-ahead swing is still part of the session though, as evidenced by the upbeat, lively, and unique Latin-styled rendition of the Tony Hatch classic, "Call Me," first composed for Petula Clark and popularized by Chris Montez and Frank Sinatra. The great Latin swing arrangement may have been inspired by Tim and Terry's Cuban heritage—father Frank was Irish, mom Gloria was a Cuban dancer.

The vocalist delivers a truly beautiful and lush performance on Strayhorn's immortal "Lush Life," which contains cushy keyboards and synthesizer backgrounds, and she simmers on the Ellington's "Prelude To A Kiss." Accompanied well by stellar instrumentals, Guthorn hums through a terrific jazzy version of the Joni Mitchell song, "Black Crow," and takes off on "Where Or When." The singer performs tasteful balladic renditions of standards such as "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans," "You Don't Know Me," and "I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)." Other notable pieces include a brisk "Rainbow Connection," the other hot Latin swing song, "Overjoyed," and the soft-colored title track—essentially a medley with Charlie Chaplin's iconic "Smile" as the foundation.

While this is clearly a vocal album, the producer, guitarist, and saxophonist do play important and pronounced roles. Offering a selection of gentle ballads, swinging rhythms and a slice of the Latin flair, Katie Guthron and crew deliver an inviting production of jazz music. There are plenty of reasons Why Not Smile? can serve as Guthorn's launching pad into the jazz genre: she interprets familiar standards like a seasoned veteran, she possesses a well-honed vocal approach, and she is surrounded by a supportive musical family. These are all the ingredients Guthorn needs to warrant the label of "jazz singer."

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
After Carnival

After Carnival

CDM Records
2012

buy
Live at Vision Festival

Live at Vision...

Re: Konstrukt
2012

buy
So Oder So

So Oder So

Self Produced
2012

buy
To My Surprise

To My Surprise

Consolidated Artists Productions
2012

buy
Leap In The Dark

Leap In The Dark

Intuition
2012

buy
Into The Open

Into The Open

Your Favourite Jazz
2012

buy
Unable to find .

SELECT e.id, e.event_type, e.musician_id, e.entity, e.festival, e.house_concert, e.city as ecity, e.state as estate, e.country as ecountry, e.location, e.dt, e.title, e.country_subd, e.state_subd, e.city_subd, e.advertised, e.start, e.price, e.currency, entity.name AS entity_name, entity.city, entity.state, entity.country, entity.country_subd AS entity_country_subd, entity.state_subd AS entity_state_subd, entity.city_subd AS entity_city_subd, country.abbrev AS country_name, currency.name AS currencyname, entity.ticket_url AS ticket_url, musician.thumb_img AS thumb_img FROM musician_event me LEFT JOIN event e ON e.id = me.event LEFT JOIN musician ON e.musician_id = musician.id LEFT JOIN entity ON entity.id = e.entity LEFT JOIN country ON country.id = entity.country LEFT JOIN currency ON currency.id = e.currency WHERE e.active <> 0 AND e.is_planned=0 AND e.dt >= CURDATE() AND me.musician = ORDER BY e.dt LIMIT 7

You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'ORDER BY e.dt LIMIT 7' at line 1