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MP3 Kathleen Grace - Songbird

Intimate jazz fairly tales featuring vocal originals, standards and contemporary covers from the Beatles to Pat Metheny.

8 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, FOLK: like Joni

"One of the most interesting newcomers on the American scene, Arizona-bred Kathleen Grace made her recording debut just two years ago, with the impressive Sunrise. Now, with a new band comprised of pianist Matt Politano, bassist Ryan McGillicuddy, drummer Andrew Fockel, percussionist Bobby Wilmore and, most notably, guitarist Perry Smith, Grace kicks it up a notch with this wide-ranging assortment of covers and originals that amplify her genre-blurring dexterity. Hers is a crisp, cool sort of Jo Stafford-meets-Jane Monheit vibe that''s as well suited to a sparkling, sun-dappled spin through "I''ll Be Seeing You" as it is to the gently countrified, rigors-of-the-road lament "I Return to You," featuring Grace''s lyric fitted to Pat Metheny''s "Travels."

Equally intriguing are her "Sunrise, Sunset," shot through with a vague hint of sinister mystery, and a "Surrey With the Fringe on Top" that''s at once as bouncy as an Oklahoma back road and as sleekly propulsive as a racing bike. Like its predecessor, Songbird (is)(named for an original Grace-Smith composition that is Joni Mitchell good)...The airwaves should be full of Grace.

-Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes May 2007

"After a glowing recommendation from Chris Vognar, I decided to make a getaway to the Elephant Room Friday night. I got there just in time to see the Kathleen Grace Band. The music was absolutely lovely. I kept trying to think of a word to describe the Los Angeles jazz vocalist whose voice is mellow and pure. The title of her new CD captured the description perfectly: Songbird."

— Tracy Brown, Dallas Morning News, SXSW: Best of Blog, March 18th, 2007

What happens when a lover of Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell gets a jazz education? The answer is found in the music of Kathleen Grace. Her repertoire is often often compared to the work of Madeleine Peyroux and Bill Frisel; and her voice to the pure sound of a bell ringing.

Grace released her critically acclaimed debut CD “Sunrise” in 2005. All About Jazz called it one the debuts of the year, JazzTimes called on major-labels to "step up." For her new project Grace has now embarked on an innovative collaborative ensemble The Kathleen Grace Band.

The band grew out of a two-year musical collaboration with guitarist Perry Smith. Their first recording, Songbird features a mix of co-written band numbers as well as acoustic vocal/guitar fairy tales. Grace and Smith joined their writing skills on the title track which pairs his beautiful melody with her lyrics of new love. The song have been selected as a finalist for the 2007 International Songwriting Competition in the jazz category. In addition to original material, the CD highlights important influences on the young composers. The opening track transforms the wide-eyed early Beatles tune "Do You Want to Know a Secret" into an adult Brazilian rendevous. The closing song, "Away with Me" written by Grace, highlights the pair’s musical chemistry and vulnerable approach to storytelling.

Kathleen Grace and Perry Smith are each award-winning composers in their own right: Grace was awarded a spot at the 2004 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency at the Kennedy Center and was a finalist in the 2004 Montreux Jazz Festival International Vocal Competition. Smith won ASCAP’s 2006 Young Composer Award in Jazz for his composition "Peace Park."

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