Reviews for Evolution
Nancy Ann Lee, Jazz Times
"Rarely does a female jazz vocalist emerge who exhibits the
assurance, skill, creativity and expressiveness to cast her into
the spotlight with singers Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen
McRae or Betty Carter. Kitty Margolis, with her rich contralto,
perfect pitch, facile phrasing, and strong sense of swing, matches
these masters. Live At the Jazz Workshop, her 1989 debut album for
her own label, Mad-Kat, was universally praised. On Evolution, the
second release for the San Francisco-based singer's own label, she
fiercely attacks a wide choice of material, from bebop to blues
to Brazilian to ballads. Creating punchy horn-like lines, bending
notes, smearing or splitting tones, and superbly (yet sparingly)
scatting, Margolis leads you blindfolded through an exciting jazz
labyrinth she creates with her Bay area sidemen. So impressive are
her vocals that you might initially fail to notice special guest,
tenor saxman Joe Henderson, artistically weaving his lines throughout
hers on five tunes. This is an exhilarating album."
William Grim, All About Jazz.com
"This is an amazing album. There are few jazz singers with
the range of expression of Kitty Margolis, a singer equally at home
in bop, blues and ballads. Possessed of unerring pitch and flawless
enunciation, Margolis can also scat with the best of them. Indeed,
her versatility brings to mind Ella Fitzgerald and Carmen McRae.
In this album we hear Kitty Margolis in almost every style imaginable."
Phil Elwood, The San Francisco
"Kitty Margolis', new recording, "Evolution" (Mad-Kat
CD) is the best vocal jazz disc in years. Margolis (along with Bud
Spangler, Monty Montuori and Gary Mankin) spent a year producing
"Evolution" and it shows. Margolis is a jazz singer because
she immerses her voice, her soul, in her instrumental group. She's
not singing in front of the band, she's part of it-and they respond
Dan Ouelette, CD Review
"Jazz vocalist Kitty Margolis' second album is a carefully
conceived and well-executed collection of songs that not only showcase
her captivating and stylistically versatile voice but also demonstrate
her impeccable taste in securing top-notch accompanists. To join
her superb trio (pianist Dick Hindman, drummer Gaylord Burch, and
bassist Seward McCain) Margolis has invited tenor sax king Joe Henderson,
blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker, and cooljazz guitarist Joyce Cooling-wise
choices, as each guest offers Margolis opportunities to explore
a wide range of jazz terrain."
Sam Ng, Big O Magazine, Singapore
"The world is in need of more Kitty Margolis'. Besides being
an outstanding vocalist, she is a fine lyricist and arranger. Not
only can she get luminaries like Joe Henderson to play in her set,
she can coax a stellar showing from him. By anyone's standards,
Evolution is going to be one of 1994's happenings.
This is not some haphazardly assembled record
meant to feed the current market craving for jazzy vocals. Necessary
"evils" like "I'm Old Fashioned" and "You
Don't know What Love Is" are included. But when relatively
obscure pieces such as Ivan Lins' beautiful title track as well
as "Tristeza de Amar" are unearthed, one begins to suspect
the depth of the singers passion for the genre.
Ms. Margolis' bio mentions that she is
a Harvard alum. Well, check out her lyrics on "Ancient Footprints"
and "Firm Roots" to get a feel of her cerebral inklings.
The former is hits that Wayne Shorter power track in its Adam's
apple. And if you're not the type to succumb to any vocalist, Evolution
is important in its inclusion of five top notch performances by
the great Joe Henderson, whose biting solos are on a par with those
on his own albums. For those still (im possibly) unconvinced, let
this be said. You will miss out on the great sound fidelity, the
marvelously swinging band and some fine guitar work from Joyce Cooling.
A thoroughly inspiring release."