Detroit jazz jazz vocals Kathy Kosins Michigan perfomances releases Resonance Records United States

Jazz vocalist Kathy Kosins debuts “To the Ladies of Cool” on Resonance Records in March

Jazz vocalist Kathy Kosins doesn’t take anything for granted.  Since 2010, Kosins has adapted to the changing needs of the music industry, and specifically her fans, by releasing a regular series of digital singles.

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 (which will release CD on March 13), owned and operated by George Klabin, whom she describes as, “this generation’s Bob Thiele, Norman Granz, and Creed Taylor.”    

From this vast pool of hundreds of titles, she says in a recent news release, “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.  

Kosins stresses that To the Ladies of Cool 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. 
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 Kosins 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.

Kosins is a singer, composer, songwriter (words and music), arranger, educator, and painter.  Born in Highland Park, Mich. (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. 
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