Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Edward Blanco
San Francisco-based actress, educator and singer Katie Guthorn is primarily known for her work in pop, R&B, Motown and even country music, having performed with groups such as the Soul Delights and the Randy Craig Trip. Though jazz has been part of her repertoire in the past, it has never truly been her main dish or passion. Jazz, however, is exactly what Why Not Smile? is all about, and the singer that does a superlative job voicing the music of Rodgers and Hart, Duke Ellingtonand Billy Strayhorn, among others.
Making this jazz project all the more intimate, Guthorn fronts an intriguing quartet. The recording is a family affair: husband Terry Haggerty plays guitar, his brother, producer Tim, is also on bass and keyboards, and Tim's son Aaron does the honors on drums. Tenor saxophonist Armen Boyd, the only non-relative in the group, rounds out the personnel.
Old, oft-recorded standards are the main course on this album of light jazz. Guthorn's tender vocal approach seems well-suited for the sensitive ballads that make up the majority of the selections. Straight-ahead swing is still part of the session though, as evidenced by the upbeat, lively, and unique Latin-styled rendition of the Tony Hatch classic, "Call Me," first composed for Petula Clark and popularized by Chris Montez and Frank Sinatra. The great Latin swing arrangement may have been inspired by Tim and Terry's Cuban heritage - father Frank was Irish, mom Gloria was a Cuban dancer. ... read more...