March 2012 CD of the Month
Kathy Kosins "To the Ladies of Cool" Resonance Records
In recognition of Women’s History Month, our March CD of the Month selection is To the Ladies of Cool: A Love Letter to Chris Connor-Anita O‘Day-June Christy-Julie London by the veteran Detroit vocalist, Kathy Kosins. Not only were the honorees cool ladies, they were pioneers in shaping the vocal stylings of the West Coast cool jazz movement of the 1950s. With this in mind Ms. Kosins traveled to Los Angeles to record this inspired homage for the Los Angeles based, non-profit recording label, Resonance Records. Kathy made two very astute decisions, first her choices of songs-avoiding the over recorded standards, secondly, enlisting Tamir Hendelman to be her pianist and arranger. Hendelman is to be commended for his refreshing charts and impeccable playing as an accompanist as well when soloing. Kudos to Kathy for penning lyrics to Hershey’s Kisses, previously a wordless vocal tune composed by Johnny Mandel who upon hearing the words stated; “Her lyrics melt in her mouth!”
As the subtitle suggests, it’s a musical thank you to 4 women who made an enduring impact on jazz and pop singers still felt over 50 years later. Sure, it may be the highest form of flattery but, there’s no imitation going on here, Kathy reinterprets the songs her own way. In addition to Tamir, the other sidemen shine in their roles adding seasoned sounds and solos without distracting from the vocals, a difficult task in jazz. Kosins is a native of Detroit and was raised during the golden era of Motown, her father’s store, Kosins Clothes served as the clothier for Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson and the Temptations, among others. Kathy came to prominence in the 1980s with famed producer Don Was and shortly thereafter was one of the most sought after studio vocalists garnering an ASCAP award. Searching for more freedom as a singer, Kosins turned to jazz in the 90s and has been swingin’ ever since! Kathy Kosins most recent recording maybe a tribute To the Ladies of Cool, but the CD is already hot on the jazz radio charts and as fiery as her red hair!