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Show Me

Kate McGarry

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Album Review

After first coming out on Lemur Music in 2001, Kate McGarry's Show Me was reissued by Palmetto two years later with different art work. In a sense, the album's new front cover is misleading. Wearing a denim jacket, the jazz vocalist looks like she could be a folk singer or perhaps a traditional Irish-Celtic artist — with a name like McGarry, one tends to think of all things Celtic. But Show Me is neither folk nor Celtic; McGarry is very much a jazz improviser, and she's a very accessible one. Although the Massachusetts native turned New York resident once studied with Archie Shepp, there is nothing avant-garde about Show Me (which was recorded in 2000). This CD has a torch-singer outlook, and McGarry brings a sweetly delicate, sometimes Chet Baker-ish vulnerability to standards like "Get Out of Town" and "This Is Always." Her singing is light, but it isn't lightweight — and for all her subtlety, McGarry has no problem getting her points across. Like so many jazz artists, McGarry tends to pick a lot of overdone warhorses that have been recorded countless times over the years. But because her performances are as likable and charming as they are, one is inclined to be forgiving. And to her credit, McGarry also finds some worthwhile songs that haven't been beaten to death in the jazz world (including Brazilian star Djavan's "Oceano"). In the future, McGarry would do well to be more adventurous and far-reaching in her choice of material — after all, there are plenty of great songs that don't have a Tin Pan Alley connection. But all things considered, Show Me, Rovi


Born: 1970 in Hyannis, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Being one of ten kids, Kate McGarry had to learn early on how to make her voice be heard. Hailing from the Boston area, McGarry attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and studied Afro-American music and jazz under such notables as Dr. Horace Boyer and avant-garde saxman Archie Shepp. Free from the confines of education, McGarry hopped into One O'clock Jump, a vocal group based in Boston. Thanks to their steady gigs in Monterey, McGarry got the opportunity to be a guest vocalist with...
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Show Me, Kate McGarry
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