Hetty Kate: Dim All the Lights. Vintage Love Songs of Peggy Lee, June Christy and Julie London

Hettie Kate, voice, with Sam Keevers, piano; Ben Robertson, bass; James Sherlock, guitar; Danny Farrugia, drums.
Jazz
ABC Jazz 378 2335
Reviewed by , June 1st, 2015

This CD features nine classics from the Great American Songbook, sung by a young woman from Melbourne whose voice possesses a purity of tone that is perfect for the chosen material. Combining this timbral quality with a sense of phrasing destined to extract sub-textual meaning from the lyrics, and a control of pitch that is unsurpassed makes Kate’s album a delight to listen to. Mix in the fact that her instrumental collaborators are among the most sensitive accompanists in Australian jazz and Dim All The Lights should be in every CD collection (or download it if that is your preference).

Hetty Kate

Hetty Kate

The Thrill Is Gone, Bewitched and I Get Along Without You Very Well are three quality songs that warrant inclusion in any program simply because they are such well-crafted works. Each is a highlight of this recording. The five musicians display individual thoughtfulness about their respective roles in the delivery of these numbers. The inclusion of intelligent verses that set up their ensuing choruses for maximum emotional impact is another winning facet of these performances. When the chorus arrives, the listener is ripe for the picking and primed to receive the full effect of the song.

Cry Me a River is a song that has been sung by so many vocalists that anyone performing it now needs to provide it with a special ear-catching twist if they wish to be treated seriously. Kate does this by dropping a beat from every second bar, thus subtly altering the metre to seven (4 + 3). Sherlock and Keevers on guitar and piano respectively, make fine solos over the rhythmically modified harmonic structure. A similar adjustment, in this instance two bars of triple metre changed to three plus two (5), is made to the Bacharach/David hit standard entitled Wives and Lovers. The remaining four songs all have features that recommend them to a general music audience as well as dedicated jazz listeners.

Hetty Kate

Hetty Kate

This is s lovely collection of well-known songs performed in a manner that gives it a wide appeal.

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