In my review of Los Angeles based jazz vocal treasure Cathy Segal-Garcia’s two previous, albums, the magnificently eclectic The Jazz Chamber and Dreamsville, I made special mention of the prolific songwriter’s unique and stylish way of interpreting the genius of legendary composers like Horace Silver, Henry Mancini, Les McCann and Charlie Parker, in addition to pop luminary Cyndi Lauper.
While those are worth numerous revisits, Cathy transcends them to create an even greater emotional impact bringing Marvin Gaye’s timeless and still vibrantly relevant “Inner City Blues: Makes Me Wanna Holler” to our present fraught and anxious moment. Swinging sensually and soulfully, with her nuanced, passionate vocals growing more intense and urgent throughout, Cathy weaves her intoxicating spell, richly and intricately illuminating Gaye’s biting poetry about the ills, injustices and financial hardships of inner city life – which except for a Vietnam reference, could have been penned in this watershed year of 2020.
One of the blessings of being one of the city’s premiere vocalists is having some of its top jazz musicians at the ready. On “Inner City Blues,” she draws us in and keeps us rapt with the deeply soulful and powerfully improvisational ensemble of pianist and arranger Carey Frank, vibraphonist Nick Mancini, bassist Alex Boneham, guitarist Will Brahm and drummer Steve Hass. With compelling, though all too brief solos by Frank, Mancini and Brahm, the track balances its lyrical immediacy with a jazzy pace that allows it to expand to a generous six plus minutes.
You haven’t fully “heard” 2020 until you’ve experienced Cathy’s re-imagined Marvin.
Check out the amazing video below too!
Listen to "Inner City Blues: Make Me Wanna Holler" here: https://open.spotify.com/album/50WrcHxz35jqv1dV6ISn32