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Heart & Soul   I   Left Coast Life  I   Straight Up With a Twist  I   Evolution  I   Live at the Jazz Workshop  I   Live Reviews 

Reviews for Heart and Soul: Live in San Francisco

Gene Seymour, Newsday:
"Top 10 Jazz CDs of 2004."

Fred Bouchard, Down Beat:
"Celebrating innovation over affectation, Margolis sings with conviction, pleasure and creative edginess...breathtaking...a tour de force.”

Don Williamson,
"Kitty Margolis is absolutely on fire in front of an audience. On Heart & Soul: Live In San Francisco, she blazes. Using all of the devices at her command, Margolis possesses the rare ability to reshape a song as it were clay into a creation of her own imagination. It’s not often that a jazz singer’s live recording contain the snap and abundance of ideas immediately received by an audience that Margolis’ offers. Even though it is early in 2004 for predictions, her Heart & Soul is so invigorating that it no doubt will be considered as one of the top jazz vocal albums of the year.
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Paula Edelstein , All Music Guide:
"Kitty Margolis remains in the front ranks of jazz interpreters. She commands instant attention to every word she sings on Heart & Soul: Live In San Francisco and is, quite, quite glorious. ...Leaves you, the listener with an amazing sensitivity of what that night in San Francisco must have been like."
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Don Heckman, The Los Angeles Times:
"Margolis is an impressive scat singer - a discipline that is too rarely done so well...Margolis' ebullient enthusiasm invests each of the numbers with high-spirited pleasures. Her choice of material ranges from Mose Allison's quirky "Your Mind Is on Vacation" and the too rarely performed "A Sleepin' Bee" to the lovely "While We're Young" and - in a touch of whimsy - Tommy Wolf's sardonic "I'm Always Drunk in San Francisco." Margolis handles it all with the intelligent musicality that is her essential stock in trade."

Jerry Karp, The San Francisco Chronicle:
"San Franciscan Kitty Margolis established herself long ago as an exhilarating and imaginative jazz vocalist of the highest order. Her new live recording is more proof that the rep is deserved. Earthy rather than ethereal, Margolis' warm, expressive singing suggests a friend telling stories you know are true, sometimes from a love seat and sometimes from a
barstool. Her adventurous scat solos often blur the distinction between singer and wailing instrumentalist. Exhibit 1 is the Coltranian scat tour de force Margolis delivers within a thrilling, up-tempo "Summertime." Other highlights include the bluesy fun of the Mose Allison gem "You Mind Is on Vacation."

All About Jazz:
"Wow, this woman can sing. This disc is good—very good. Margolis skillfully whips her audience into an appreciative frenzy. Margolis knows an awful lot about jazz but is quick to acknowledge that “all the skill in the world don’t mean a thing if you can’t make people feel something.” Give "Heart and
Soul: Live in San Francisco" a listen, you’ll definitely feel

Andy Gilbert, San Jose Mercury News:
"Kitty Margolis is increasingly described as one of the finest jazz singers anywhere. An impeccable musician and imaginative interpreter of songs."

Christopher Louden, Jazz Times:
"Margolis, and equally potent blend of class, integrity and chutzpah, delights the SRO audience with 75 minutes of thrilling showmanship. Imagine Doris Day's flowery "Secret Love" pared to its natural beauty, Rogers and Hammerstein's syrup "My Favorite Thin" injected with grown-up vivacity or a hymnlike "Spring WIll Be a Little Late This Year" seeped in chilled desperation and you get a vague idea of her pliant magnetism. ABout three quarters of the way through her set, Margolis serves up Tommy Wolf's "I'm Always Drunk in San Francisco." Considering the magnificence of Carmen McRae's 1968 version (from Portrait of Carmen) it's a risky choice. But Margolis, as adept at working a room as the mighty McRae, manages to make it distinctly her own, keeping the crowd, much like the "Sleepin' Bee" she sings of earlier in the evening, firmly but comfortably in the palm of her hand."

Ron Wynn, Nashville City Paper:
"Margolis might be the best scat singer working the jazz front, and she can do much more than just flip through wordless phrases as she demonstrates on Heart & Soul: Live In San Francisco (Mad-Kat). Her version of Mose Allison's "Your Mind Is On Vacation" retains the satirical direction of the original,
but puts more blues feel into the rendition. "While We're Young," "Love Walked In" and "Secret Love" are other top cuts. Margolis displays a strong, emphatic and frequently dazzling voice, and rates high praises from the fans who continue to complain about the absence of real vocal improvisers and singers that can truly swing."

Las Vegas Weekly:
"The entire CD is an utter joy."

Sacramento Bee:
"Margolis performing live is a world-class jazz experience that combines mainstream classicism with an expansive view of her improvisational repertoire."

Bob Protzman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
"Margolis and band sound as if they're having the time of their lives. Effervescent and witty, deeply romantic, dramatic, invigorating and downright fun."

Albuquerque Journal:
"If you miss Ella Fitzgerald pine no more. Please welcome Kitty Margolis. She is a rich-voiced successor to Ella, which means she scat sings better than any present day vocalist that I've heard. One her new album "Heart & Soul: Live in San Francisco" (Mad-Kat), Margolis covers a lot of ground, from the opening swinger "Love Walked In" to Mose Allison's sarcastic Your Mind is On Vacation" to "My Favorite Things." Her vocal range is also mighty incredible, seemingly hitting a mezzo-soprano's high notes and a baritone's lows. And when Margolis scats she has such amazing sustaining power that it will take your breath away. Margolis is clearly a singer deserving wider recognition."

Kevin Jones, The Australian (Five Stars)*****
"San Francisco based Kitty Margolis has a style that can be summed up in two words-freedom and improvisation. Not surprising when you consider her role models are singers indifferent to the vagaries of commercial success such as Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan and especially Betty Carter. Like Carter, she has that rare ability to reshape a melody into her own creation. The results can be exuberant, unpredictable or witty, but never boring. At her best, this finest of contemporary vocal improvisers is something special, as on this live set with her trio at the Broadway Studios Nightclub in San Francisco last year. She radically rethinks standards with challenging reharmonisations, stretching her ideas and sounds to the limit. Summertime becomes a scatting tour de force and Surrey With the Fringe moves along to a New Orleans street beat."


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