|““A lot of jazz singers are good at a few devices and punch them out song after song. Ms. McGarry has a deeper supply. You’ll find shades of folk-pop singers like Suzanne Vega and Rickie Lee Jones in her voice; you’ll also find some of the highest refinements of great jazz singing.”
~ New York Times
Fresh from her March debut at Carnegie Hall alongside Kurt Elling in Fred Hersch’s “Leaves of Grass” project, Kate McGarry has released her second CD “Mercy Streets” on Palmetto Records, a label known for its creative roster of talent. Like her label mates, McGarry has a penchant for bringing a contemporary edge to traditional songs and giving contemporary songs a traditional context. Using the intimate format of acoustic and electric guitars, acoustic bass and percussion; Kate and her band tie a thread of honesty and artistry through a remarkable range of material, creating deeply satisfying music that is equal parts vibe and virtuosity.
From the plaintive cries of Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street”, to the vocal/guitar acrobatics of “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets” to her own touching and tuneful “Going In”, Kate’s earthy voice rests easily on the expansive soundscapes created by electric guitarist Steve Cardenas, bassist Sean Smith, drummer Kenny Wollesen and co-arranger/composer Keith Ganz on acoustic guitar. The band is joined on two tracks by special guest Fred Hersch on piano, whose wistful song “Stars” is a welcome addition to the project.
The set also includes Kate’s arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s “Chelsea Morning”, Bjork’s “Joga (State of Emergency)”, the spiritual “Trouble of the World”, a haunting resetting of the Irving Berlin classic “How Deep Is the Ocean” and others.
“Mercy Streets” is an eclectic collection of highly personal songs and arrangements from one of the brightest new stars in the jazz world.