MP3 Cartwright/Oppenheim - Soulmates
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8 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, JAZZ: Bebop
"Intriguing and unpredictable. Well worth checking out." (4 Stars, AMG pick) - Scott Yanow, AllMusic Guide
"Vocalist nonpareil Cartwright and husband, alto-saxophonist Oppenheim not only prove to be soulmates, but simpatico musical partners. She is emerging as one of the most talented jazz singers on the current scene, he has an interesting sound that stretches bop parameters, a sweet and sour style. When they play in unison, as they do frequently, the sonority is unlike any other. Add to this witches' brew the very fine pianist James Weidman, who's done his share of accompanying singers, notably Abbey Lincoln, ox-strong bassist Belden Bullock, and four-decade Phil Woods back-up, drummer Bill Goodwin. They enhance the music and act as a trampoline foundation, supporting Cartwright's catty voice, which sounds as if she plays quick games of checkers, or hopscotch. There's some sultry wordless scat as in the mid-tempo, Weidman-written title track kicker, siren songs like the image laden 'The Moon Over His Crazy Rock Garden' and the slow, deep, mermaid-to-walrus ode 'Dear Mr. Walrus.' Vocal gymnastics are present on the mid-tempo, boppish 'Tumbler' and chickadee scat on the intro of 'Blue Mi.' At her most demonstrative, Cartwright uses see-saw, clipped phrases with sax unison on an ear grabbing funky blues 'Special K,' and gets impressionistic on the waltz 'Dada Bass.'
The only piece not completely composed by one of the participants has a slow thematic reference to Charlie Parker's 'Quasimodo' with lyrics about life as a woman in this sexist society, 'It's Hard To Say' melting gently into the Gershwin evergreen 'Embraceable You,' quite a mood swing, in more ways than one. Cartwright is no less than remarkable. She has a resonant voice, with slight vibrato occasionally slipping through. Her chords ring like a harbor bell in a fog, or skip like a flat rock on water's surface, and seductively invite you in. The material is thoroughly original and jazz-oriented, swinging effortlessly as if she was born to do this. Oppenheim's contributions cannot be overlooked... A wonderful addition to the modern jazz singing discography, and hopefully a portent of yet more to come from a songstress and saxophonist deserving far wider recognition.' (4 1/2 Stars, AMG Pick) - Michael Nastos, AllMusic Guide
"Katchie Cartwright...is one helluva singer. She scats with total ease and perfection.... Richard Oppenheim's rich alto follows, with Katchie and Oppenheim then merging together, the vocalist 'playing' her soprano voice as if it had a reed and was made of brass. ... Top it off with the legendary Bill Goodwin on drums...and you have some great music. ... Inspiration, improvisation, and richness are the keys to the quintet... Soulmates is a marvelous recording." - JazzTimes
"Sophisticated, playful... Who thought jazz could be this much fun?" - Wayne Saroyan, JazzWest
"Subtle variations on the bop vocabulary...exquisite singing...satiny alto playing...cohesion and grace..."- Jerome Wilson, Cadence
"Ace alto sax player Richard Oppenheim...is truly a cross between Charlie Parker and Lee Konitz." - Niranjan Jhaveri, JazzIndia
Katharine (Katchie) Cartwright (voice), Richard Oppenheim (sax), James Weidman (piano), Belden Bullock (bass), Bill Goodwin (drums). Produced by Bill Goodwin. Album design by Barbara McMahon.
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