Kathy Kosins

Kathy Kosins doesn’t take anything for granted; for instance, she has been one of the very few jazz singers to question the absolute necessity of long-playing albums. Since 2010, she has adapted to the changing needs of the music industry, and specifically her fans, by releasing a regular series of digital singles. So, when she announces a new album, it’s abundantly clear that this won’t be just an arbitrary assemblage of random tunes, but a very special collection of specific songs that have a darned good reason for being connected to each other in the album format.

The new album, her fifth, is titled To the Ladies of Cool, and the songs all derive from the repertoires of four canonical female singers of the 1950s: Anita O’Day, June Christy, Chris Connor, and Julie London. This is her first album for Resonance Records, owned and operated by George Klabin, whom she describes as “this generation’s Bob Thiele, Norman Granz and Creed Taylor.”

Kosins stresses that this shouldn’t be mistaken for a tribute album, in which a contemporary artist will simply “cover” the works of a canonical performer; it is even less a set of imitations. Kosins has undertaken the laborious task of sifting through an enormous selection of songs – these ladies were all extremely prolific – and finding the ones that matched her own voice and style. In taking songs that she learned from this fabulous foursome and making them work in her own inimitable fashion, she has taken her own title admirably literally. She has, in fact, truly created a “toast” to four artists who continue to inspire her, something much more meaningful and satisfying than a tribute.

Kosins has long been familiar with these artists and their songs; in fact, the new album is a direct consequence of her multi-media concert show, “The Ladies of Cool.” She explains that she initially began the process by combing through the copious discographies of the late O’Day, Christy, Connor, and London – and she notes, not only the CD reissues of their commercial recordings, but she also sifted through such esoterica as V-Discs, Armed Forces Radio broadcasts, radio transcriptions, Soundies, and other film and TV appearances.

From this vast pool of hundreds of titles, she explains, “I selected 20 songs that were of interest to me. On some occasions, I was intrigued by the title of a song I had never heard of. A few of my choices were rather obscure – others were quite famous at one time, although I might not have known them.” In one instance, Kosins took Johnny Mandel’s famous instrumental “Hershey Bar,” a melody that had been scatted wordlessly by O’Day, and, with the composer’s express permission, added her own lyric to it and created “Hershey’s Kisses.” Thus, she made “Hershey Bar” into something else entirely. To reiterate, this album is no “cover” job! Eventually, she says, “I narrowed the list down to the 10 songs that are on the CD.”

From that point, she studied and learned the songs from the original sheet music, rather than using the historical recordings as a starting point; it was just one additional way of insuring that her interpretations would be original and not clones of any previously existing recordings. The result is a “toast” like no other.

She also made a point to record the sessions in Los Angeles – then, as always, ground zero for the “Cool School” associated with these ladies. Even more importantly, this gave her the chance to work with such outstanding members of the L.A. local scene as the superlative pianist and musical director Tamir Hendelman (who was responsible for all of the album’s arrangements), guitarist Graham Dechter, multiple reed player Steve Wilkerson, and percussionist Bob Leatherbarrow.

Kathy Kosins is a singer, composer, songwriter (words and music), arranger, educator, and painter. Born in Highland Park, Michigan (a city surrounded by the larger city of Detroit), she grew up in Detroit’s internationally known jazz and R&B scene. Kosins was initially known as a singer of soul, rock, and funk, having worked extensively with the celebrated band Was (Not Was) as well as Michael Henderson. For the last 15 years or so, however, she has become famous as one of the most successful jazz singers of the contemporary era. As an instructor in this field, she has conducted master classes at over 100 colleges and universities. She also continues to work as part of a project called Detroit Memphis Experience.

Kosins has also maintained a second career as a visual artist, primarily as a painter of abstract original canvases – and has enjoyed gallery showings of her works throughout North and South America. Although that career is separate, Kosins is keen to note the parallels between the two ideals: “That songwriting, singing, and painting are my creative disciplines,” she notes. “Music and painting are equal parts of who I am. I sing what I paint and I paint what I sing. I use the lyric and melody for color and shape inspiration.”

Visit Kathy Kosins website dedicated “To The Ladies of Cool”

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Press Quotes:

“… She authentically recreates a lost genre of female jazz singing…”

“…Her words flow as effortlessly as maple syrup over hot pancakes….”

“..She easily inflects her voice evoking the necessary emotion that these songs embody. Her controlled delivery is always pitch perfect….”

“Kosins offers something contemporary that may be even better than the memory of the original.”

“Kosins shows a deft sense of time and an inherent sense of swing.”
– Ralph A. Miriello, Jazz Journalist, Huffington Post

“Solid intonation, unwavering swing and a voice that can conjure both the girl next door and her older wiser sister.”Harnessing the essence of the song with imaginative interpretations and sassy savoir faire.””
– Neil Tesser, Chicago Reader

” Kosins does a terrific job honoring these four greats with her honey-coated voice.”
– Larry Taylor, All About Jazz

“… this delightful journey down memory lane with Kosins is a pure delight…”

“…Kosins mutli-talented approach indeed makes old school new cool again.”
– Critical Jazz

“On jazz singers Kathy Kosins’s new album ” the Ladies of Cool,” her lovely, and
soothing voice made me want to curl up in her lap, and listen to her sing every song on
the album over and over.”
– I Dig Jazz

“She opted for tunes that she felt suited her stylistically and emotionally, and she renders them with taste, confidence, and a superb feel for phrasing that makes each lyric ring true.”
– Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz

“The CD is already hot on the jazz radio charts and as fiery as her red hair!”
– KUVO, Denver Jazz Radio

“In “Don’t Wait Up for Me”, Kathy Kosins Kosins puts her sultry, elegant spin on one of Chris Connor’s less conspicuous
triumphs on To the Ladies of Cool.”
– Elysa Gardner, USA Today

“…One thing I’ve always enjoyed about Kathy Kosins is her ability to “sell the song”. Kosins is a melodic storyteller..”

“…There are plenty of vocalists out there claiming to be jazz singers, but from my perspective, unless you can swing you can never be an authentic jazz artist. Kosins definitely can.”
– LA JAZZ .COM

“This CD is perhaps one of her best, and one of the best of any contemporary jazz singer singing homage to four immortal women of jazz and pop.”

“She makes every note and every sound count….”
– Danny R. Johnson, San Diego County News

Reviews & Articles:

Date City Venue Country
10/28/18 - 10/29/18 New York, New York Birdland US
Time: 6:00pm. Address: 315 WEST 44TH STREET. RESONANCE RECORDS 10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION.
10/13/18 Clough Lea, Marsden Marsden Jazz Festival UK
Time: 7:00pm. Address: Parochial Hall. Buy Tickets
10/05/18 Halesworth, Suffolk The Cut UK
Time: 7:30pm. Address: New Cut.
09/16/18 Newcastle Hoochie Coochie UK
Time: 5:30pm. Address: 54-56 Pilgrim St. Venue phone: 01912220130.
08/19/18 New York, New York Blue Note (New York) US
Time: 11:30am. Address: 131 W. 3rd St. Venue phone: 212-475-8592. Showtimes: 11:30am & 1:30pm.
07/29/18 Tarrytown, New York Jazz Forum US
Time: 6:00pm. Admission: $15 – $20. Address: 1 Dixon Lane.
07/28/18 New York, New York Birdland US
Time: 6:00pm. Admission: $30. Address: 315 WEST 44TH STREET.
07/21/18 New York, New York Birdland US
Time: 6:00pm. Admission: $30. Address: 315 WEST 44TH STREET.
07/14/18 New York, New York Birdland US
Time: 6:00pm. Admission: $30. Address: 315 WEST 44TH STREET. More information
07/07/18 New York, New York Birdland US
Time: 6:00pm. Admission: $30. Address: 315 WEST 44TH STREET.
07/02/18 Montreal, Québec Montreal Jazz Festival CA
Time: 7:30pm. More information
06/16/18 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival UK
Time: 5:00pm.
06/11/18 New York, NY Power Station Studios US
Time: 8:00pm. Address: 441 West 53rd Street. Featuring Musicians: Polly Gibbons, vocals Tamir Hendelman & James Pearson, piano Paul Bollenback, guitar Richie Goods, bass Mark McLean, drums Shedrick Mitchell, organ
Showtimes: 8pm & 10pm/ If you have questions or to reserve by phone, please call (310) 247- 0331