The weekly online radio series Jazzed and Blue: Profiles in Blues and Jazz is back and is now available for download at Rockwired.com and features an exclusive interview with vocalist Kate McGarry regarding her latest release 'Girl Talk'. In the opening segment, McGarry discusses the inspiration behind the tracks of her new project and payign homage to jazz music's leading ladies. The second half of this edition of Jazzed and Blue will feature music from such jazz and blues artists as Kenny Love, Mozik, Marilyn Mcleod, Tom Wopat, Jason Hemmens and more. “After being gone for about three months, it is great to finally be back and doing this show again. says Jazzed and Blue host Brian Lush. “It's a real treat to end a long week with a show like this and to kick back and listen to some great music."
Kate McGarry, one of her generation's most individual and influential singers, has earned acclaim for blending her love of folk and pop music with jazz fluency and improvisation. As the Nashville Scene said, the sweet-toned, Grammy Award-nominated vocalist embraces jazz's freedom yet points the genre toward a future that's as fresh and thrilling as its past." With Girl Talk - her fifth Palmetto Records album, to be released April 10 - McGarry pays homage to her role models among the great women of the jazz vocal tradition, from Betty Carter to Sheila Jordan to Carmen McRae. Accompanied by an intimately swinging jazz combo, McGarry puts her own inimitable spin on such classic songs as We Kiss in a Shadow," The Man I Love," the winking title track and, as a dream duet with Kurt Elling, the Brazilian O Cantador." McGarry, although inspired by tradition, makes the album's songs feel utterly contemporary, not only through her distinctly 21st-century musical personality but through the personal emotions and sexual politics at play.
Starry-eyed admiration and gratitude for our strong lineage of visionary jazz women is what fueled the making of Girl Talk, my first straight-ahead recording in many years," McGarry explains. As part of my research for the album, I listened to hours of interviews with some of my favorite jazz singers - Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter, Anita O'Day, Shirley Horn, Nina Simone, Elis Regina, Sheila Jordan, Irene Kral, Abbey Lincoln. There's something so compelling about hearing their speaking voices detailing the struggles and triumphs of their daily lives and journeys - my kind of `girl talk.' These icons were co-creators of the great art of jazz singing at a time in our nation's history when women's voices and dreams were so easily silenced or devalued."
The title track of Girl Talk, a Mad Men"-era number by Bobby Troup and Neal Hefti, reflects the days when women were supposed to know their place rather than have their own voice. The lyrics of that song are patronizing, of course," McGarry says. But I learned it from the LP Betty Carter, Finally, where Betty pretty much obliterates the original lyrical intent and gives the tune a whole new feeling. Her version was a beacon for me. I love how the great women jazz singers didn't allow the songs of the time to define or reduce them - they redefined and expanded the meanings of the songs with their bold storytelling. In doing so, they gave themselves and other women a bigger space to live in."