Album Reviews

Kat Webb: A Better Picture

katwebOld school name dropping can start with Anita Baker, certainly as smooth and calming, but not as broad and deep. Contemporary comparisons could be made with Corinne Bailey Rae, although Kat Webb's voice stays at a higher pitch than these others. These pointed differences are a good thing. Any artist needs their own distinct sound.  The background vocals and instrumentation are classic soul, with some jazz vibes. 

The debut tracks on the record show off her sweet octave vocals, clear as an ice crystal bell. "Old School" and "It's Alright" could be in good company with a Quincy Jones productions. Could Kat Webb be pushed to be as smokey as Maxwell? I think she has it in her, for sure. "Slow It Down" can pass for a Love Unlimited track, while, "Can't Stop Thinkin Bout You," has a "Moody's Mood For Love" vibe going on, and who can escape this type of charm from a soul artist? "Hey Someone" is triumphant, with a strength that encompasses resilience, yet reaches out with persistence. The video to this track is very moving too. "Finally Free" carries some piano jazz that is gentle and adds a soft background to Kat's vocals. Song after song, her voice deepens, and I think she could widen the range even more. Still, the styles bring you back to the basics of great soul music.

From her biography:

Kat Webb is an Austin, TX-born soul singer, but confining genres definitely aren't her style. Since graduating Yale University in 2007 with a degree in English and substantial training with the Yale School of Music, Webb has resided in Brooklyn, NY, singing background for various NYC artists, writing for up-and-coming artists and interning in audio engineering at The Honablue Institute (formerly Royal Blue Studios).

In May 2011, she made her solo debut with "An Old Soul", a compilation of jazz standards and soul classics re-imagined for the modern listener, recorded entirely in analog with a live band to recreate the true vintage sound. Since then she's been performing in venues all along the East coast, including the legendary Lenox Lounge, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Bowery Poetry Club, Drom, and many more.

This album marks the first time Kat presents to her audience her own original music. It's sure to be memorable with co-producers Christian Ver Halen and Jesse Fischer on board, and Grammy-winners involved in its production. Big things are coming for this Southern Songbird!

(Source: KatWebbMusic.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Album Credits:

"A Better Picture" is Kat Webb's sophomore album of original soul music. It draws on the numerous musical styles in Webb's background, including some folk from her home state of Texas, some blues from the South, and some New Jack Swing from her new home on the East Coast. It was co-produced by world-class musician and veteran producer, Christian Ver Halen (Maya Azucena, Kendra Ross), and musician and band leader, Jesse Fischer (Soul Cycle, Gretchen Parlato).

credits

released 13 November 2012
"Waver"
Written by Kat Webb (Kat Webb Sings, ASCAP)
Kat Webb (background vocals); Jesse Fischer (keys); Christian Ver Halen (guitar & additional pads); Solomon Dorsey (bass); Adam Jackson (drums & auxiliary percussion)

"Old School"
Written by Kat Webb (Kat Webb Sings, ASCAP)
Kat Webb, Kendra Ross (background vocals); Jesse Fischer (keys); Christian Ver Halen (guitar & additional pads); Solomon Dorsey (bass); Adam Jackson (drums & auxiliary percussion); Lakecia Benjamin (alto sax); Chelsea Baratz (tenor sax); Satish Robertson (trumpet)

"Playa Boi"
Written by Kat Webb (Kat Webb Sings, ASCAP)
Kat Webb (background vocals); Jesse Fischer (keys, synth, key bass); Christian Ver Halen (guitar & additional pads); Adam Jackson (drums)

"Can't Stop Thinkin' 'Bout You"
Written by Jesse Fischer & Andre Henry (Soul Cycle Music, ASCAP)
Kat Webb (background vocals); Jesse Fischer (keys); Christian Ver Halen (guitar); Solomon Dorsey (bass); Adam Jackson (drums & auxiliary percussion); Chelsea Baratz (tenor sax)

"Hey Someone"
Written by Kat Webb (Kat Webb Sings, ASCAP)
Kat Webb (all vocals)

"Good to Me"
Written by Debbie Dean (Dubba Scrubba Music, BMI)
Kat Webb, Kendra Ross (background vocals); Jesse Fischer (keys); Christian Ver Halen (guitar); Solomon Dorsey (bass); Adam Jackson (drums); Lakecia Benjamin (alto sax); Chelsea Baratz (tenor sax); Satish Robertson (trumpet)

"Finally Free"
Written by Debbie Deane (Dubba Scrubba Music, BMI)
Kat Webb, Kendra Ross (background vocals); Jesse Fischer (keys); Christian Ver Halen (guitar & additional pads); Solomon Dorsey (bass); Adam Jackson (drums)

"It's Alright"
Written by Steve Wallace (Neo-Renaissance Music Publishing, ASCAP)
Kat Webb, Kendra Ross (background vocals); Jesse Fischer (keys); Christian Ver Halen (guitar & additional pads); Solomon Dorsey (bass); Adam Jackson (drums & auxiliary percussion)

"Keep On"
Written by Kat Webb (Kat Webb Sings, ASCAP)
Kat Webb, Kendra Ross (background vocals); Jesse Fischer (keys); Christian Ver Halen (guitar & additional pads); Solomon Dorsey (bass); Adam Jackson (drums & auxiliary percussion); Lakecia Benjamin (alto sax); Chelsea Baratz (tenor sax); Satish Robertson (trumpet)

"Put Your Heart Away"
Written by Jesse Fischer & Andre Henry (Soul Cycle Music, ASCAP)
Kat Webb (background vocals); Jesse Fischer (keys); Christian Ver Halen (guitar); Solomon Dorsey (bass); Adam Jackson (drums & auxiliary percussion)

"Slow it Down"
Written by Debbie Deane (Dubba Scrubba Music, BMI)
Kat Webb (background vocals); Jesse Fischer (keys); Christian Ver Halen (guitar); Solomon Dorsey (bass); Adam Jackson (drums)

Produced by:
Christian Ver Halen
Jesse Fischer

Executive Producers:
Kat Webb
Stephen & Gwendolyn Hill Webb
Ethel Webb

Arranged by:
Jesse Fischer

Background Vocal Arrangements by:
Kat Webb
Kendra Ross (tracks 2, 6-9)

Recorded at:
Electrik Indigo Studios (Brooklyn, NY)
Jesse Fischer (engineer)
Miguel Mesa (assistant)

Additional Recording at:
Phase4 Music (Brooklyn, NY)
Ryan Fitch (engineer)

Mixed by:
Dave Darlington at BassHit Studios (New York, NY)
Christian Ver Halen at The Rooftop Studio (Brooklyn, NY)

Mastered by:
Tony Dawsey at Masterdisk (New York, NY)

Album Design by:
Calvin Wright

Photography by:
Frank Wang

(Source: http://katwebb.bandcamp.com/ )

Out On The Tiles

Shokazoba and Superswank - June 11, 2010

Shokazoba and Superswank at the Elevens, June 11th, 2010, Northampton, MA.

Shokazoba is a ten piece Afrobeat ensemble that blends jazz and old school funk, with a West African beat that sets the foundation for a great community vibe. Their website describes their roots from Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti and our favorite Godfather of funk, James Brown. They have won several regional music awards and one visit to their show last night demonstrated that these were well deserved.

This ensemble was among the hardest working bands I've seen in a long time.

Read more...

 

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