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More concerned with the essence of a song than idiomatic limitations, Palmetto Records vocalist and Grammy® nominee Kate McGarry has managed to attract the attention of tomorrow's jazz fans. Beyond her obvious affinity for swing, an eclectic repertoire ranging from Irving Berlin to The Cars and her signature contralto convey a message with a crystal clarity that precludes the need for gimmick or effect. All that's left is undeniably honest music that transcends the boundaries of age or genre. With five records including the Grammy® nominated, If Less Is More ... Nothing Is Everything, she's established herself as one of contemporary jazz's most moving and enigmatic voices.
McGarry's sense of musical authenticity is beautifully blended with her always-original musical vision. --Don Heckman, The Los Angeles Times
With a voice that soars with abundant hope, Kate McGarry creates music that makes you sit up and take notice…a modern jazz singer who is redefining the genre with a compelling body of work. --Icon Magazine
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This is the 2nd Kate McGarry CD I own. One of the great attractions to buy this CD is another appearance by Gary Versace, who may be one of the most exciting instrumentalists anywhere. Here he appears with just organ and piano, having left his accordion at home. The colors he brings to this beautiful program continue to amaze. Kate and her partner, Keith Ganz, have crafted little melodic jewels for 10 numbers. I'm blown away by O Cantador with Kurt Elling. It bears comparison to the composer's recording with Toots Thieleman. THE MAN I LOVE - outstanding - especially Gary Versace. Love this record!
She is beautifully "unleashed" in her musicianship--- just like the photo on the cover indicates!
"I could write a book" about how great she is--- but I won't.
You have to hear her for yourself!
You'll be glad you did!
For this c.d. she has released primarily standards. Right away, my eyebrow arched. Gershwin over Rumi? Rodgers & Hart over ee cummings? Why would an artist as accomplished as Kate McGarry cover tunes that have been covered a million times before?
And the answer is: Because artists such as Patricia Barber and Rebecca Martin have done the same thing. There is artistic value in finding a new voice in old tunes. And with artists such as husband, Keith Ganz, and Gary Versace accompanying her, the artistic inspiration will be high.
So, as expected, these tunes are very well done. True, the album won't make you forget Ella Fitzgerald's version of "The Man I Love," or Nat King Cole's "I Know that You Know," for example. But the fact that they make you remember them says something.
But amidst this admiration, there are two cuts that knock my socks off. One is Kate McGarry's duet with guest-star Kurt Elling of the Brazilian "standard", the charming "O Cantador." The other is the most sinewy, insinuating cover ever of Mancini's "Charade." Versace and Ganz are geniuses on this cover.
If you are a fan of Kate McGarry or of standards, you will want to listen to this; for that, I bump my 4 and 1/2 rating to 5. If you're not either one, I recommend it; but I recommend "The Target" and "If Less Is More" even more so. RC