1st Annual Mother/Daughter Tea & Fashion Show
Saturday May 10th 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm @Briarwood Facilities
|I have the honor of performing at the 1st annual Mother/Daughter Tea & Fashion Show. Sponsored by the Women's Ministry of Jerusalem Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church to help teens and battered women, a cause near and dear to my heart. Tickets are $20.00 in advance and $25.00 at the door. Contact Alice Butts 614 822-5870 or Sandra Kemper 614 256-9688 for tickets or to make a donation to this worthy cause.|
This event is being held Saturday May 10th, 2014 from 12:00 – 3:00 pm at Briarwood Facilities Banquet, Business & Wedding Chapel 1421 Davidson Dr. Reynolds, Ohio 43068.
"People Make the World Go Round”
(KimCourt Productions KCPKR-01)
Street Date June 3, 2014
Kate Ross– Vocals, Caleb Hutslar-Keyboards, Greg “The Governor” Pearson-Drums, Dave Irwin-Bass,
Craig McMullen-Guitar, Drums – Roger Myers, Alto Sax – A. C. Collins
There has always been a debate as to what separates a jazz singer from a singer who simply interprets songs in a rhythmic fashion. But from the first few bars of Kate Ross’ extraordinary debut album People Make The World Go Round, any question as to whether she qualifies is summarily dismissed. Even more importantly, Kate is one of those rarer jazz vocalists who is fully committed to not only imprinting her personal identity on the mind of the listener, but also moving the art form forward.
In Kate’s case her Commitment is one that fully deserves that capital C. Diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease 30 years ago, Kate has overcome the chronic pain – exacerbated by two broken neck injuries due to her condition – while working three jobs to put her two children through college and pursue a career as a singular and adventurous vocalist. But neither she nor her music dwell upon the pain and struggle, offering instead a message teeming with optimism, jubilation and gratitude for all the beauty that life has brought her.
“When you’re in chronic pain everyday and still have responsibilities, there is no time to wallow in pain. You still must do what you need to do to survive. I still had to provide for my children. I think the situation made me a stronger person.”
And in the transcendent expression that is the art of jazz at its finest, her challenging journey has enriched and informed the stories she tells through her music. She imparts these stories with a beautifully expressive voice, full of emotion, with emphatic phrasing and a dynamic sense of rhythm. She delivers the lyrics with the precision of the spoken word, shaping each syllable with the artistry of an aural sculptress.
Surrounding herself with a group of musicians who have been committed to her music for more than 15 years, the album demonstrates that synergy and unity that is essential to all truly creative music. Keyboardist Caleb Hutslar (mainly on acoustic piano), bassist Dave Irwin and guitarist Craig McMullen – best known for his extensive work with the immortal Curtis Mayfield – and drummer Roger Myers are all brilliant musicians who perform with exceptional sensitivity and striking creativity whether supporting or soloing. Greg “The Governor” Pearson, another longtime collaborator of Kate’s replaces Myers on two tracks, while B3 master Tim Boyles and alto saxophonist A.C. Collins add their special talents on one each as well. A very special luster is brought to the production by the legendary Motown producer Reggie Dozier who re-mixed and mastered the album.
As generous a leader as Kate is, the story here is really her consummate vocal artistry. The energy and artistic pursuit clearly bring to mind the unparalleled empress of jazz vocal creativity Betty Carter. And like Betty and the great Bettye LaVette, Kate has that special talent of making every song she sings entirely her own, regardless of previous interpretations, or even the composer’s original intent.
This quality is expressed quite clearly on both the title piece and the popular standard Without a Song that closes the album. On the Stylistics’ mega-hit People Make The World Go Round, Thom Bell and Linda Creed’s soul classic is transformed into a rollicking jazz excursion. Arranged by McMullen and taken at breakneck speed, full of striking suspended rhythms and fueled by richly wooded wailing bass, it also features a soaring guitar solo with Grant Green-ish inflections and a full-bodied unbridled piano solo. Kate’s rip-roaring vocal audaciously tears apart the melodic line, driving home the message with vehement intensity and never faltering in the pure unfettered swing of it. Kate arranged Without a Song as a rhythmic romp in an R&B bounce, stoked by Boyles’ B3 and Irwin’s bass in a rich organ pedal style. Kate’s punchy delivery of the lyrics lies deliciously behind the sprightly funk groove.
Dave Irvin composed and arranged two pieces. The album’s opening track Jazzis a sojourn in straightforward, vigorous swing with an infectious jump style. The rhythm section is smoking on all cylinders and Kate’s profusely surging vocal sets the lively and spirited tone that permeates the entire album. Up Into The Big Blue Soundis introduced by the virile, soulful tone of A.C. Collins’ alto sax, who adds a delightful obbligato to Kate’s vocal, also delivering a potent solo. With its undulating rhythms, Hutslar’s dancing electric keyboards and A.C.’s sinuous sax it could not only appeal to fans of smooth jazz, but also provide them with a depth not often found in the genre – further pushed by Myers’ spectacularly inventive drumming and Kate’s sumptuous vocal.
The remaining four pieces were all composed by Art Bell, with Kate co-composing and arranging Kate’s Song. A highly original piece, it’s strikingly syncopated and marked by bold Carter-ish intervals. Sometimes bordering on the Baroque, the compelling story told by the lyrics coupled with Kate’s dramatic delivery make this a stunner. Collectively arranged by the group, Meet Me is an unusually structured sound poem sung in an almost narrative form with Kate’s vocal coating the rhythm section like a delectable sauce on a sundae.
Two beautiful ballads – both arranged by Bell – round out this enthralling album. Midwinter Dream, an item of filigreed beauty is given a poignant and tender treatment, stated with precision and gracefulness. Once again, Myers’ drumming, totally unexpected for a ballad, is the ideal complement to Kate’s singing. Home To Me is an anthem-ish piece, perfectly suited to Kate’s deeply emotive expressiveness. The powerfully affecting cry in her voice combined with her stirring vibrato make this a heart-wrenching tour-de-force.
While Kate’s personal story – warmly told by the late, great radio personality Bobby Jackson in his liner notes – is both powerful and uplifting, the real story lies in the music on this splendid CD. Kate Ross is poised and ready to take a prominent place in the forefront of the jazz vocal world.