Monday, March 5, 2012

Teenie Tunes; Cool Kosins - Bob Stewart

A groundbreaking exhibition, "Teenie Harris, Photographer: an American Story" opened at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh in October. It celebrates this artist/photographer whose work is considered one of the most complete portraits of the 20th Century African American experience. "Hill District Beat" is an enhanced CD featuring over 100 of Harris' most iconic images of luminaries of his day synced to an original soundtrack performed by the MCG Jazz All Stars. This collection of musicians associated with the MCG Jazz family includes pianist David Budway, bassist Dwayne Dolphin, drummer Roger Humphries and trumpeter Tom Williams.

For the last fifteen years or so, Kathy Kosins has become famous as one of the most successful jazz singers of the contemporary era. Since 2010, she has adapted to the changing needs of the music industry 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 connected to each other. The new CD, her fifth, is titled "To the Ladies of Cool" and the songs all derive from the repertoire of four canonical female singers of the 1950s: Anita O'Day, June Christy, Chris Connor, and Julie London. Kosins has sifted through an enormous selection of songs and found the ones that match her voice and style, creating a 'toast' to four artists who continue to inspire her.

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