Kate McGarry, Keith Ganz, and Gary Versace at Jazz Standard - New York City Article

Kate McGarry, Keith Ganz, and Gary Versace at Jazz Standard

Kate McGarry, Keith Ganz, and Gary Versace at Jazz Standard

Feb 7, 2018, 12:00 am

Kate McGarry, Keith Ganz, and Gary Versace
Jazz Standard
116 E. 27th, (212) 576-2232
Wednesday, February 14

“The course of true love never did run smooth.” Thank you, Lysander! The Subject Tonight is Love, the new album from Kate McGarry (who might be called a young veteran jazz singer) makes that point exquisitely. Miss McGarry is from Hyannis, Massachusetts, but her overall approach to jazz is something that I would have associated with Kansas or Missouri, somewhere on the great plains, with lots of wide open spaces. There’s a lot of space in her music too, overall, it’s a very open kind of a sound, with a highly original approach. Her new album, The Subject Tonight is Love, is indeed dedicated to the titular subject, but, as you’d expect from her earlier work, sounds like anything but a predictable album of love songs - even though she’s launching it on Valentine’s Day. The instrumentation - voice, piano (Gary Versace), and guitar (Keith Ganz, also her husband) - is far from the usual format and while there are sufficient numbers of recognizable love songs (“My Funny Valentine,” “Gone With the Wind”), her interpretations are always highly unique. For example, “What a Difference a Day Made” is framed with an elaborately scatty original, a process which allows her to keep the melody, lyrics and intention of that classic Mexican song intact even while infusing it with a whole new meaning. There’s also an equally imaginative treatment of “Indian Summer,” and several memorable originals as well. The set ends with a brief reading of “All You Need is Love,” the Beatles’ group-sing, rarely ever rendered as a solo vocal, but leaving us with no doubt that it’s all true.

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Author: Will Friedwald
Photography by: STEPHEN SOROKOFF

Author: Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

New Books:

THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, November 2017)

SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)