Kathryn Smith – With Every Breath I Take
With Every Breath I Take signals the reemergence of a valuable addition to the vocal jazz genre. Though this is Smith’s debut CD, it is not the
recording of a freshman artist, rather a long overdue documentation of a seasoned performer who is ready to materialize. With Every Breath I Take is an album of smart stylish renditions from the American Song Book, which transports the listener to a sultry night, coupled with fine wine … perfect for longing or lingering.
Like fine wine, this album shows how time and dedication to a craft will bear astounding characteristics, undeniable result and rare maturity of result. You’ll find a depth of emotion developed over a lifetime of both live performances and living life. Kathryn has created a CD that will satisfy your need for tranquility. With Every Breath I Take is enchanting; it is delicious. “So Many Stars” begins the journey with a stripped down rendition of guitar and voice that shows every breath and beauty Smith’s voice has to offer and her ability to truthfully and with conviction convey the storyline with effortless transitions from low notes to crystalline highs. A bouncing rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s “I Get Along Without You Very Well,” will put a spring in your step and a tap in your foot, accompanied by bassist Micheal Goetz and guitarist Brian Conigliaro this traditional rendition swings and swings.
“My Attorney Bernie,” a Frishberg nugget, is a wonderful addition. Kathryn’s spin on the classic cut gives the listener a different twist on the lyric, where most vocalists deliver this song with more of a comical approach, Smith’s rendition gives the listener more of a amorous respect for her attorney Bernie. It may just be the classy eloquence of Kathryn’s voice that gives it the twist, either way it is a refreshing change to the usual comic relief.
“Urge for Going” is a Joni Mitchell penned cut that is given an Irish overtone. Kathryn navigates the wide melody with clear articulation and pitch, conveying the meaning of the song with elegance, style and pure emotion. Conigliaro’s mandolin work broadens the appeal on this rendition to cross over to many musical pallets.
“Nothing Beats the Memories,” offers a relaxing bossa nova selection, flavored by the romantic styling of saxophonist Ed Xiques. This original composition, which was penned by producer and musical director Brian Conigliaro, features Smith in a higher register, giving the listener a chance to hear Smith’s breathy falsetto range. Kathryn conveys the witty lyrics and introspective storyline with heartfelt sincerity and style.
“With Every Breath I Take,” the title cut shows up at the end of the release, leaving the listener in a contemplative state, almost like the closing of the day; Smith waxes a full range of bell like highs and heart-wrenching lows, with stellar diction. The cut leaves you relaxed and fulfilled, a perfect homage to a well-balanced offering, showing the many sides of this seasoned “new-comer,” or should we say; seasoned, long awaited first offering from a long-time performer.