Cathy’s newest CD is getting RAVE reviews! If you missed the 1st CD Release Party, you probably would LOVE to come to the 2nd one! Even if you saw/heard the 1st one, I bet you want to come back and do it again!
Join Cathy with pianist Josh Nelson and guitarist Larry Koonse, at The “G Spot” in Highland Park.
For $25, you’ll get snacks, drinks, and even a CD!
Dreamsville Jonathan Widran March 6, 2019
A songwriter and vocal interpreter of uncommon emotional depth and intuitive lyrical insight, L.A. jazz veteran Cathy Segal-Garcia has the uncanny ability of discovering deeper, previously uncharted soul territory in a song no matter the surroundings. I described her 2018 large ensemble album The Jazz Chamber as “freewheeling” and “joyfully schizophrenic.”
Her latest, true to its title Dreamsville, is completely opposite in tone and thematic intention, remarkable for its pin drop hushed sense of intimacy and masterful expressions of tender, thoughtful moods. She keeps her accompaniment gentle and sparse, ensembling beautifully with guitarist Larry Koonse and pianist Josh Nelson, who paint elegant harmonic colors behind her lead vocals (and otherworldly scatting on “Scarlatti Sonata in B Minor”) and create expansive improvisational solos which ease effortlessly into meditative territory.
It is testament to Segal-Garcia’s heart on the sleeve songwriting prowess that “The Three of Us,” her heartbreaking ode to her departed sisters, and “Beyond the Years” – a wistful meditation on finding lover in later years – stacks us admirably among slightly off the beaten path gems by Claire Fischer, Horace Silver and Henry Mancini.
Cathy Segal-Garcia, Larry Koonse & Josh Nelson
Dash Hoffman Records
Following up her The Jazz Chamber (Dash Hoffman, 2018), singer Cathy Segal-Garcia pares things down to a trio, with guitarist Larry Koonse and pianist Josh Nelson, for Dreamsville. Segal-Garcia, a rarified vocalist in any format, finds a plush comfort zone with these two singular players. This is a gentle recording that lives up to it somnolent title. There are no fireworks to be found among these beautifully disparate songs, only quiet ruminations, thoughtfully sung and performed by this obviously empathic trio.
In the title song, Koonse and Nelson establish a method that expands throughout the eleven selections of the disc. While Koonse plays palm-muted single-note figures, Nelson summons the melodies from the compositions, with occasional forays into clever counterpoint between guitar and piano. This method is also demonstrated in an ebullient performance of "September in the Rain."
The trio extends its counterpoint study to a logical conclusion on a vocalese performance of Domenico Scarlatti's Keyboard Sonata in B minor (L. 33). The performance is a pensive one, weaving together patches of Baroque precision and subtle impressionism. Segal-Garcia also courageously covers Horace Silver's "Lonely Woman" (complete with Leonard Feather lyrics) as a drifting ballad, devoid of any hard bop undertones.
The singer proves a master of direction when casting songs on the whim of her fertile creativity. The guitar-piano combination is provocative and effective for Segal-Garcia's project. Writers like to call Segal-Garcia a "singer's singer." I can think of nothing better.