Karen Marguth | Karen Marguth

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Moods: Type: Vocal
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Karen Marguth

by Karen Marguth

Four and 1/2 Stars in Downbeat Magazine. "One of the finest American jazz vocalists." -Jazz Times Magazine. "Flawless technique... all the talent of a great jazz singer." Phillippe Vincent, Jazz Magazine, France.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Give Me A Break
3:34 $0.99
2. Blackbird - Bye Bye Blackbird
2:22 $0.99
3. Limehouse Blues - Sister Sadie
5:32 $0.99
4. Happy As the Day Is Long
1:56 $0.99
5. Lagrimas Negras
3:37 $0.99
6. In the Land of Oo BlaDee
2:33 $0.99
7. Daydream
3:58 $0.99
8. That Old Black Magic
3:38 $0.99
9. All of Me
2:50 $0.99
10. Everything Happens To Me
3:12 $0.99
11. Admit It
3:49 $0.99
12. I Like Me When I'm With You
2:16 $0.99
13. Exactly Like You
2:14 $0.99
14. Squeeze Me
3:17 $0.99
15. Nearness Of You
5:01 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Karen Marguth: Fresno’s Big Secret
Great big talent, much too small a pond. Her name is Karen Marguth, one of the finest American jazz vocalists you’ve likely yet to discover. For years, Marguth has been polishing her pristine pipes in and around her adopted hometown of Fresno, headlining a Thursday night residency at the local Landmark club and hosting “The Vocal Hour,” a weekly radio show for Fresno’s KFSR. Lucky Fresno-ites. Now, with the release of her latest, eponymous album, it’s high time that Marguth advanced to her rightful place on national and international stages.
A dexterous, multi-discipline performer whose CV also includes dancing, choreography and directing, Marguth’s studio work includes three previous albums as leader, the invigorating, standards-driven The Best Things from 2005, the late-2008 festive collection Carols Everywhere and last year’s country-tinged All the Waiting.
Fine as her previous recordings are, Karen Marguth elevates her to the plateau of Diana Krall, Jackie Ryan and Carolyn Leonhart. Though Marguth again favors standards, the playlist is fresh with intriguing twists and turns. The first thing listeners will notice, beyond the crystalline beauty of Marguth’s voice, is the unique backing from Espacio, a four-member California band comprising bassist Kevin Hill, drummer Nathan Guzman, guitarist Mike Taylor and mandolinist Eva Scow (whose outstanding contributions to Anthony Wilson’s Power of Nine and her terrific duo album, Sharon By the Sea with guitarist Dusty Brough, are also worth searching out).
Eight of the album’s 15 tracks feature Marguth with the entire Espacio ensemble. They get things off to a lively start with Chris Caswell and Sam Jones’ “Give Me a Break (Unit 7),” a bracing kiss-off from a fed-up lover that vocal fans might recognize from Karrin Allyson’s 2006 recording, on Footprints. The band’s “Limehouse Blues” provides a shimmering introduction to Marguth’s saucy, hip-swiveling “Sister Sadie.” The heat intensifies several degrees on Cuban maestro Miguel Matomoros’ “Lagrimas Negras,” a sizzling showcase for Marguth’s flawless Spanish. Ellington’s “Day Dream” comes wrapped in wistful softness, as does the album-closing “The Nearness of You.” Marguth’s achingly tender reading of the Jackie Allen heartbreaker “Admit It” rivals Allen’s original, and Espacio gets to show off its nimble funkiness on a joyously unfettered “Exactly Like You.”
An additional six tracks find Marguth in the sole company of bassist Hill, including a soaring, swooping amalgamation of “Blackbird” and “Bye Bye Blackbird,” a vigorously blissful “Happy As the Day Is Long,” a bouncy romp through the bop classic “In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee” and an arrestingly inventive “All of Me” alternately driven by Hill’s exceptional slapping and strumming. But the best of the Marguth-Hill tracks is “I Like Me When I’m With You,” a sunny, vibrant ode to romantic contentment crafted by underappreciated west coast humorist and musician Jason Jurzak.
Rounding out the album, Marguth teams with Scow for a delightful “Everything Happens to Me” that, with its jaunty, jangly mandolin through line, perfectly captures the self-pitying playfulness of the Matt Dennis/Tom Adair gem.
From start to finish, Karen Marguth is a masterful accomplishment that represents the mating of singer and bandmates at its most sublimely satisfying. It deserves to be counted among the year’s standout vocal albums. Here’s hoping it gets Marguth the sweeping attention she so richly deserves.
-Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times

Jazz from Central California? Believe it. Fresno-based vocalist Karen Marguth has teamed up with the cleverly unorthodox band Espacio (which boasts a mandolin, guitar, bass and drums lineup) to put out her most swinging session yet. She’s got a fresh as a daisy tone, elastic as all get out, and has the rare quality of being adventurous without being cacophonous.
Marguth’s beautiful quality is on full display for ‘Nearness of You,’ while she has no problem giving a loose and infectious reading of ‘Blackbird’ as a vocal/bass duet. The band serenely swings on ‘Limehouse Blues/Sister Sadie’ while Marguth’s enthusiastic voice swings and snaps like a paddle ball game. She and the band pour over with the joy of music here; guaranteed to wipe that frown off your face. Get this lady up and down the coast!
-George Harris, All About Jazz
We regularly receive CDs from musicians who are totally unknown to us. Sometimes, we understand quickly why we’ve never heard of them, but sometimes we are pleasantly surprised. Such is the case with Karen Marguth, a Californian about whom we know little, except, after listening to this CD, that she has all the talent of a great jazz singer. In the line of white singers, which the world of jazz has often disdained in the past, she carries it today to the pinnacle.
Gifted with technique without flaw (great precision in all registers and impeccable articulation) her excellent phrasing permits her to easily scat and swing. Karen also shows that she knows how to do without harmonic support for much of her album, offering beautiful duos with bassist Kevin Hill. If purchasing via internet doesn’t bother you, Karen Marguth’s clear and smooth voice will charm you. A Californian to discover.
-Phillipe Vincent, Jazz Magazine France
Singer Marguth and mandolinist Scow have been producing some fascinating displays of briskly swinging voice and mandolin jazz.”
-Don Heckman, International Review of Music
Karen really hit this one out of the park… Her singing style is truly original... highly appealing… and backed by some great musicianship. Kudos to all concerned.
-Bob Collins, Jazz Producer, WRHU, New York

No schmaltz and no BS. Karen Marguth and Espacio swing hard, and bring a fresh sound to the often tired world of jazz vocals.
-Joe Moore, Station Manager KFSR Radio, Fresno, CA
What a treat to hear Karen and Espacio at their show in Sun Valley, Idaho. Their sound is fabulous, and Karen’s scatting and singing is superb.
-Ryan Hoffman, Pearl Django, Seattle, WA
As a jazz singer, Karen Marguth fills the bill. She’s spot on key, and phrases with ease and feeling.
-George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon
What wonderful music! Karen is a great artist. I’ve been transmitting her music on my program on Radio Fidelite. If she comes to perform here in France, I’m sure she’ll have a large audience.
-Andre de Chabannes, Jazz Radio Producer, France
We LOVE Karen’s CD, and have already played two tracks from it, with plans to play many more! She's great, and so is her band.
-Katie Malloch, Canadian National Broadcast
Being a busy bandleader, I didn’t get to hear much of Karen and Espacio at the Sun Valley Festival, but what I heard was excellent!
-Bill Allred, Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band
Karen’s album is a very pleasant surprise. Of the first jazz recordings I've received this year, over half of them are by female vocalists, and this one stands out. I'll enjoy playing it.
-Jack Hopke, Producer at WWNO radio, New Orleans, Louisiana
Karen’s CD is a jazzy delight. I'll be giving it lots of air play on CHRW. This is a very tasty debut jazz offering. I'm hooked.
- Alicks Girowski, Music Director, CHRW 94.9 FM - London Ontario, Canada
I like Karen’s CD a LOT! Last week on my Just Jazz show I wanted to feature the best/newest disc received in so far in 2010 and Karen’s CD was it.
-Norm Movitz, KMST “Just Jazz” radio host, Rolla, Missouri
Karen is really top-notch. We featured her new CD recently during “Morning Edition” and enjoyed a phone interview with her.
-Lee Stott, WKYU radio host Lee Stott, Bowling Green, Kentucky

Karen’s new album is excellent, and her singing--terrific!
-Rebecca Kilgore, jazz vocalist, Portland, Oregon
This musically versatile songbird has a bell of a voice; clear, lyrical...her latest CD is a first-rate work.
-The Independent News, Pleasanton, CA
Karen’s new CD with Espacio was listed as Fresno Bee’s Best Local CD of 2009. Marguth has this smooth and sultry voice...her vocals are lush, and downright delightful.
-Mike Osegueda, Fresno Bee
Karen has put out a killer CD, so tasteful, and there are so many subtleties… the only thing better is to hear her in person.
-Jason Wanner, pianist, Blue Street Jazz Band

Band info:
Karen's new album is making waves on the JazzWeek Radio Chart, where it debuted at #100, and a week later jumped to #26. Twenty two weeks later, it's still on the top 100 chart. It's also appeared several weeks on the Roots Music Report's top 50 albums, and Bob Parlocha's top 40 Jazz albums. Sirius XM Radio's Jazz Channel has been playing three tracks from the album, and syndicated jazz radio shows Jazz After Hours and Nocturnal Transmissions have featured the album.

California is home-base for Karen and the band Espacio. On this album, they join forces to create a statement that says "Yes, indeed, there is great jazz coming out of Central California."

Karen's vocals here show her versatility, and her sense of self as just another instrumentalist in the band. She sings and scats, she is clearly listening to and responding to the other musicians, and she interprets the lyrics with phrasing and passion that are uniquely hers. She isn't just a good singer who sings jazz, she is a real jazz vocalist who has clearly studied the greats, and folds what she's learned into her own style. In October, 2009, she and the band spent a day and half recording the songs for this album, many of which were recorded in just one take.

Eva Scow's mandolin work is stunning, (her CD called Sharon by the Sea is an editor's pick here at CDBaby) Eva is one of the premier mandolin players in the country. She has been playing music since age 3, beginning with the piano. After studying classical music for the first 10 years, she discovered Jazz and Brazilian music and began to play gigs with musicians around the state. Eva traveled to Brazil to study with some of Brazil's premier instrumentalists. In 2006, Eva was invited to participate in a workshop in New York City with musicians Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglass, and Mike Marshall. The workshop culminated in a performance at Carnegie Hall.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, bassist Kevin Hill lived in China and West Africa during childhood and began performing music at age 12. Kevin has played bass since he was 16 and has been a member of numerous bands in California and New York. In 2000 he attended New School Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. He is currently working with several different bands in the Fresno area, playing jazz, funk, soul, blues, reggae, zydeco and a host of other styles. He is a member of the Armen Nalbandian Trio, and is the house bass player in the Rhythms of Art monthly jazz concert series at the Fresno Art Museum.

The group is rounded out by guitarist Mike Taylor, and drummer Nathan Guzman, both of whom keep very busy gigging from the California coast to Reno, Nevada, playing for many events and in a variety of styles. Their versatility and mature ability to complement and interplay with other band members make them part of Fresno's A-list of musicians. On this album, they also contributed greatly to the arrangements of the tunes.

For more information about Karen Marguth, visit www.karenmarguth.com



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