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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,, 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.


In Tune International reviews Karen’s new album

The UK-based magazine, In Tune International, has just released its December issue, and included within is this review of Karen’s newest album:

Here are eleven songs just tailor-made for Karen Marguth to perform with Kevin Hill, her extremely talented bass player who keeps things moving throughout the album. The duo sound musically like one.
Softly, almost mysteriously, “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” opens the set, and Karen takes this standard to some loose jazz extremes ably aided by Kevin’s bass playing. “Just You, Just Me” is about as fine a jazz reading as you are bound to hear. Karen and Kevin duke it out — scatting and swinging the daylights out of this standard. “I’m Beginning to See the Light” gets an extremely slow take. It’s unusual, with many on-the-beat delayed stops that just fit. “Love’s Got Me in a Lazy Mood” is terrific. The rhythm and the vocal take us on an unforgettable, memorable musical trip. “I Got it Bad and That Ain’t Good” is ever so carefully handled with great sensitivity. The duo really top themselves on this track. On “Imagination” the two treat us to some lovely scatting and surprising twists and turns. It’s an upbeat arrangement that is quite catching. This CD is for more than just you, just me; it’s for all of us. Thank you, Karen and Kevin. ~Dan Singer

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France’s Jazz Magazine

Karen’s new duo album with bassist Kevin Hill received this mention in Jazz Magazine’s October, 2015 issue:

“We discovered her in 2010, and this Californian has lost nothing of her qualities. On the voice/bass duo album “Just You, Just Me,” she rediscovers a repertoire of classics, arranges them with happiness, and holds back none of her agility.”

Merci bien, once again, to Phillipe Vincent.

Oct. France review


Review in Jersey Jazz Journal

The September 2015 issue of Jersey Jazz includes this review by Joe Lang:

Take a look at the list of songs on Just You, Just Me (Wayfae Music – 151) and you would think that this is a lot of the same old same old with a few newer songs tossed in to let the listener know that the singer is hip to more recent music.  Well KAREN MARGUTH has a different frame of mind.  First she is a lady of courage, having as her sole accompanist bassist Kevin Hill.  Second she brings a fresh approach to songs like “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” “Just You, Just Me,” “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” “Love’s Got Me in a Lazy Mood,” “I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good),” “Imagination” and “It’s All Right with Me.”  The title of the last of these describes Marguth’s greatest asset, her imagination.  Yes, she has a pleasant voice, but her phrasing and sensitivity to the lyrics sets her apart as a special singer.  Having the added imagination of Hill makes the whole experience that much fuller.  Perhaps this comes through most clearly in the way they put across “Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave to Me.”  As to the other selections, Marguth has made interesting choices.  There are not many current performers who would dig into the catalog of Nellie Lutcher, and if they do, it would normally result in their choosing “Hurry on Down,” “He’s a Real Gone Guy” or “Fine Brown Frame.”  Marguth opted to sing “Baby, What’s Your Alibi,” and she makes it a saucy pleasure.  To fill out the program, she chose Phoebe Snow’s “Harpo’s Blues” and a song by Richard Jones, father of Rickie Lee Jones, “The Moon Is Made of Gold.”  Whatever song she sings, Marguth gives it an individual spin, and does so with satisfying results.  The disc is short by today’s standards, only 37 minutes of music, but when it is this choice, you can just hit the play again button, and double your pleasure.

Jersey Jazz, the journal of the New Jersey Jazz Society,  is published monthly eleven times a year with a combined July/August summer edition. Jersey Jazz is with filled with feature articles, photos, a comprehensive guide to the state’s jazz clubs and other performance venues, CD and performance reviews, upcoming events and news about the New Jersey Jazz Society.