Creative Music and other forms of Avant Garde
Kathy Ingraham: Cool Night
by George W. Harris • June 5, 2017
Here’s a clever way to present an album: vocalist Kathy Ingraham puts her songs in a book form, almost like a children’s night read, with the lyrics to be read to accompany the cd of alluring originals. She teams up with a variety of artists and moods, ranging from the torchy “Prelude to Your Kiss” with Pete Livin/p, Will Lee/b, Joel Rosenblatt/dr and horns by Michael Leonhart &Chris Pasin/tp to a bluesy “Cool Night” with Erik Lawrence/ts and Bob Telson’s keyboard driven by Lee and Rosenblatt. The pictures make for intriguing comparison with the mood, as rich blues contrast with the dark and harrowing “Ceyx and Alcyone” and the autumnal framed painting contrasts with a dramatic “Forgiveness.” Intriguing on a plethora of levels, succeeding in visual and auditory forms.
C. Michael Bailey All About Jazz
Peirdon Production Corporation
Vocalist Kathy Ingraham has released her debut recording Cool Night after floating several singles. Her debut is a collection of 10 original recordings that are supported nominally by a jazz piano trio made up of pianist Pete Levin, bassist Will Lee, and drummer Joel Rosenblatt with several notable soloists. But this is a hybrid of jazz and popular music. The opener, “Prelude to Your Kiss,” is a pristine and soulful but of modern R&B augmented with properly arranged background vocals and a muted bell blown through expertly by Michael Leonhart and Chris Pasin. “Sail Away Tropea” smacks of a much more convention adult contemporary sound on the back of Levin’s electric piano. The title song is dark and almost bluesy was it not for contemporary feel pushed over Eric Lawrence’s baritone saxophone. Hook-filled and foot-tapping, this is very fine and swinging music. Ingraham’s voice is pliable and obedient and the singer knows well how to use it. Originally composed jazz vocals is a hard crowd, but Ingraham assembles an altogether satisfying and enjoyable recital in Cool Night
THE INDEPENDENT JOURNAL OF CREATIVE IMPROVISED MUSIC
147 | CadenCe Magazine | April May June 2017
KATHY INGRAHAM’s debut release also comes packaged as a hardcover book/CD [8” X 8” 24 pages] called COOL NIGHT [Peirdon Production 0028672 376667]. The 10 tunes [39:19 are Ingraham originals. The lyrics for all the tunes are printed in the book. The graphics are by Richard Del Rosso. Backing comes from many and includes Danny Flam [tbn], Pete Levin [keys], Will Lee [b], John Tropea [gtr], Clifford Carter [p], Don Harris [tpt], Eric Lawrence [sax/flt]. Ingraham’s “stories” are well outlined in dealing with love and loss and she sings well but while this has a jazz element it leans more towards pop. A good gift for pop lovers and nicely done.
Review By Scott Yanow
Kathy Ingraham is a singer-songwriter who has worked extensively as a session musician in New York. On her new solo CD Cool Night, she displays a very attractive and powerful voice that, in its sincerity, pureness of tone, wide range, and ability to cross over stylistic boundaries, is sometimes a little reminiscent of Eva Cassidy although quite individual.
Cool Night consists of ten of the singer’s songs. She is joined by such fine musicians as keyboardist Pete Levin, bassist Will Lee, drummer Joel Rosenblatt, guitarist John Tropea and others including occasional horns and several background singers. The music crosses over between pop, rock, r&b and jazz, with the emphasis being on Ms. Ingraham’s voice, her imaginative lyrics, and the accompanying grooves.
“Prelude To Your Kiss” begins the set with a fantasy about being with someone who one loves, enjoying the moment right before the kiss. The muted trumpet of Michael Leonhart is an asset during this performance. “Sail Away Tropea” is highlighted by Ms. Ingraham’s fine scat-singing over the closing vamp. “Cool Night,” which features baritonist Erik Lawrence, is a ballad about drifting off to sleep while “Ceyx and Alcyone” has one imagining themselves as a joyfully flying bird. Lawrence’s flute adds to the latter piece’s atmosphere.
“Forgiveness” has some colorful stanzas about the struggle to forgive someone: “I remember the time my world wasn’t grey/Everything was black and white, my golden rule prevailed/But life has a way of blurring the lines/Navigating complicated intervals with rhymes.” “Drop Of Rain” is about facing each new day with enthusiasm. “Ordinary Life” marvels about how extraordinary an ordinary life can be. In contrast, “Dannemora Love Song” depicts a prisoner of love who is betrayed. “Without Words, a story about nonverbal communication has a prominent role for bassist Will Lee. Cool Night concludes with “Three Kinds Of Cool,” a happy romp in which three hip Kings go to Bethlehem on a swinging jazz groove.
The Cool Night CD is housed in a 24-page art book that includes the lyrics, artwork and photos. All in all, this is an impressive effort by Kathy Ingraham
Scott Yanow, author of 11 books including The Jazz Singers, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76
7/22/2017 Martin Johns
Back in 2015, we were quite taken with a Jazzy Christmas single from Kathy Ingraham, “We Three Kings of Cool”. At the time, we summed it up like this: “It’s Pop enough to be Pop, Jazzy enough to be Jazz, Soulful enough to be Soul, and different enough to be different (and I like different).” Kathy dropped us a line this week to let us know that she recently released an album which includes a remixed remastered version of the track (now called “Three Kings of Cool”). The new version features drums, which gives the song a bit more kick and might also make it more Pop Rock (though I think I still have a slight preference for the after hours feel of the earlier go and it’s the flute that slays me every time). The new album, “Cool Night”, is available digitally or on CD. And, for those looking to lock in their Christmas shopping early, there’s also a package that includes the CD AND a hard cover Art Book. Mind you, it’s not a Christmas album. But, for fans of Miles Davis era Cool Jazz (and I am), it’s a tasty treat. “Prelude To Your Kiss” is lovely and “Ordinary Life” could be a really nice track to include in a mixtape of love songs for your significant other or intended. The title track Swings the Blues and, of course, having “Three Kings of Cool” on hard copy CD is incentive enough for the Christmas music huntin’, hard copy lovin’ collector in my soul.
Kathy has quite the All Star backing group on “Cool Night”. I have to admit I found it sorta cute that she listed some of the credits for these players, most of whom are far more familiar to me than Kathy, herself. But I really should keep that in check; just because I’m well acquainted doesn’t mean everyone is. Start with Pete Levin on the keyboards. It might be useful for you to know that Pete has played with everyone from Miles to Jaco to Carly Simon. My head slips immediately to the pair of holiday albums Pete recorded with Danny Gottlieb. Then there’s bassist Will Lee. Never mind his work with Sinatra, Sanborn, Benson and Barbieri, the dude was (aside from Paul Shaffer) the longest tenured member of David Letterman’s band. The others are equally impressive…Joel Rosenblatt (drummer for Spyro Gyra), John Tropea (guitar with and for Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, etc.), Bob Telson (Oscar, Tony and Pulitzer Award nominated composer/singer/songwriter/piano man), and Clifford Carter (keyboards for James Taylor, Michael Franks and Herbie Mann). I’m admittedly unfamiliar with Rick Palley (who has played bass for Garrison Keillor and Buster Poindexter…that’s what we call “range”). And I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the equally accomplished horn section and backing vocalists (with a special nod to Erik Lawrence, who provides the flute solo on “Three Kings of Cool”). Apologies for not listing all y’all. Let’s just say that Kathy knows people. The album was mastered by six time Grammy winner Tom Coyne (Adele, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Mighty Sparrow, and, wow, look at all those Blues albums) who, sadly, passed away in April.
2015 Martin Johns
Now here’s the sort of single that floats my Christmas boat. It’s Pop enough to be Pop, Jazzy enough to be Jazz, Soulful enough to be Soul, and different enough to be different (and I like different). We get a little funky piano work from Pete Levin in there, too. This is Kathy Ingraham’s “We Three Kings Of Cool”. And cool it is. Put this in your Christmas pipe and smoke it. I’ve heard it said there’s a CD-single of this out there, somewhere, but I haven’t been able to track one down. Yule find the mp3 at Amazon or CD Baby.