11 Songs, 46 Minutes


About Katie King

"I heard this record by Billie Holiday, and it stopped me in my tracks. It was like a voice from heaven speaking loud in my ears." A bit dramatic, perhaps. Just 11 years old at the time of this revelation, Katie King nonetheless believes this experience started her down the road to a career as a jazz singer. Subsequently, as a teenager in Eugene, Oregon, King started to listen to those other doyennes of jazz singing, Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald, as well as to sich lesser lights as Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell. But it was the purveyors of jazz music who got her attention. During the '80s, King began working with pop-jazz bands, then moved to the more active jazz scene of Seattle, where she met and began to sit in with working jazz musicians like Jeff Johnson, Bob Nixon, Billy Wallace, and Floyd Standifer. Honing her jazz vocal skills by working in local clubs around the Seattle area, King began to listen more to instrumental, rather than solely vocal, music as she carved out her own niche in the world of jazz singing. The result is a melodic sound with excellent phrasing and a voice that more than simply recites the lyrics, but caresses and massages them as well. Her first album, Mostly Ballads, appropriately an homage to Billie Holiday, was released in 1993. This was followed by Jazz Figures in 1994, One for My Baby in 1998, and Side Trip in 1999. Each album takes this engaging vocalist one step further in becoming one of the more accomplished song stylists on today's scene. The albums also show that she belongs among those good, contemporary singers out there working to fill voids created by the departure of Fitzgerald, Vaughan, and McRae. Fill, not replicate, as these fresh vocalists have their own styles which they look to the listening public to buy into and accept. ~ Dave Nathan