"She swings fiercely and scats with a proper abandon."
★ ★ ★ ★ ½ - Downbeat Magazine.
 
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New album featured in Dan Singer’s column

In the March 2016 issue of the UK’s magazine, In Tune International, New Yorker Dan Singer features Karen’s new album in his column, “Singer’s Singers.” Dan writes:

“Here’s a fine jazz duo (bass & voice) that really cooks on eleven songs. Their abilities are truly uncanny, and they pull you into their glorious musical world. The entire program is just a masterful delight.

‘Just You, Just Me’ (Greer/Klagens) whisks by so fast that unhappily it is over all too soon. Karen has some scat interwoven in the brief, delicious vocal, and I just had to keep toe-tapping throughout this one.

Karen’s take on the blues song ‘I’m Beginning to See the Light’ (George/Hodges/James) is sung so lyrically and abundantly-silky-like. Her matchless blues singing is continued on ‘I Got it Bad and That Ain’t Good (Webster), a wonderful emotional example of a one-of-a-kind treatment of the blues.

‘Imagination’ (VanHeusen/Burke) for a change here is sung in a wonderful upbeat take. The song works very well for this pair as a bass/vocal duo. ‘It’s Alright with Me’ (Porter) is another of their fine duo arrangements on which they really swing. This one works extremely well.

‘Baby, What’s Your Alibi’ is a neglected Nellie Lutcher obscurity. Nellie really left us with some delightful goodies as this swinging song shows.

Bear in mind that the spotlight throughout this CD is also on her remarkable bass player, Kevin Hill. He is a consistently marvelous participant.’

 

The Art of Independence: A Riffs, Beats, & Codas interview with jazz vocalist Karen Marguth

In December of 2015, Karen was interviewed by Vincent Stephens, Ph.D., for his essay blog on the site Riffs, Beats, & Codas.

You can read the full interview, as well as other writings by the prolific Dr. Stephens, by clicking this link: The Art of Independence

Here are just a few of his other recent essay blog topics and book reviews:
The music you heard growing up: Some notes on “neo-classic” singers
100-ish Most Influential Female Vocalists in 20th Century Popular Music
Now and Forever: Celebrating a century of Billie Holiday
Learning to Listen Excerpt 11: Roy Hamilton: Star, pioneer, and misfit
Learning to Listen Excerpt 10: Grit and grace: Etta James’s post-war blues
Learning to Listen Excerpt 1: Julia Fordham and Marti Jones
Mr. B: The Music & Life of Billy Eckstine by Cary Ginell
Jazz Child by Ellen Johnson

 

Karen Listed Among Bay Area’s Best Jazz Artists

The Bay Area News Group, which includes the Oakland Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News, and The Times, recently published an article entitled “Bay Area jazz hit right notes in 2015,” in which correspondent Andrew Gilbert describes some of his favorite albums of the year.

Within the article, he writes this:
“Livermore vocalist Karen Marguth offers a minimalist vision on ‘Just You, Just Me.’ Clocking in at just 37 minutes (which was a respectable running time in the LP era), she performs a thrilling high-wire act backed only by bassist Kevin Hill. Focusing on vintage standards like ‘You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To’ and ‘Imagination’ and some wonderful oddball selections like Phoebe Snow’s ‘Harpo’s Blues’ and Nellie Lutcher’s ‘Baby What’s Your Alibi,’ Marguth navigates the songs with style and derring-do.”

Gilbert review1

 

KQED’s Andrew Gilbert Lists Karen’s Album Among Best of 2015

Just this week, on KQED’s “Art Nerd Holiday Guide,” jazz scribe Andrew Gilbert listed his favorite Bay Area jazz albums of the year. Check it out here: Best of Bay Area Jazz 2015

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Andrew Gilbert, a Los Angeles native based in the Berkeley area since 1996, covers jazz, roots and international music for KQED’s California Report, the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, Berkeleyside.com, and other publications. You can follow him on twitter at @jazzscribe

 

Karen listed among Best of 2015 on Riffs, Beats & Codas

Essayist and scholar, Vincent L. Stephens, has listed Karen’s new album among his 2015 Raves & Faves on his blog Riffs, Beats & Codas.

Under his category, Less-is-More Awards, he includes two albums from this year: Tony Bennett’s The Silver Lining and Karen’s album Just You, Just Me.

He writes:

On Just You Just Me vocalist Karen Marguth and bassist Kevin Hill build from the promise of previous efforts and tackle classics like “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” “I Got it Bad,” and “Imagination,” perfectly capturing their melodic and rhythmic contours and emotional essence in the sparsest of settings. She makes her greatest impact on her scat-laden rendition of the title track, a surprisingly blues-y and quite humorous rapid fire “Blues My Naughty Sweetie Taught Me,” and fresh songs like her loping version of Phoebe Snow’s “Harpo’s Blues” and the charming Johnny Mercer tune “Love’s Got Me in a Lazy Mood.” Other inspired choices include takes on Nellie Lutcher and Rickie Lee Jones. Marguth is quite assured in a variety of modes, and she and Hill have faultless chemistry.

Vincent L. Stephens, Ph.D.

Vincent L. Stephens, Ph.D.

Riffs, Beats & Codas is written for people interested in reading a fresh perspective on popular music. The site’s regular features include a featured essay blog, a book review blog, and excerpts from the Learning to Listen (LTL) book project. LTL is comprised of excerpts from the chapters in Vincent’s manuscript on great post-WWII singers. The site also features Learning to Listen interviews, a blog spotlighting interviews with diverse individuals discussing key moments when they “learned to listen” to music critically. R, B, & C also features links to other books, encyclopedias, scholarly journals, and websites featuring Vincent’s writing.

Vincent’s writing has been featured in Popular Music, Popular Music and Society, the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Volume VIII, All About Jazz Online, African-American Review, and The Journal of Popular Culture.