Kathy Kosins: Mood Swings (2002)
For her second album Detroiter Kathy Kosins has put together a set of songs, mostly originals, which are consistent with the album's title Mood Swings. It alternates between up tempo swingers and ballads designed to set the stage for romance, with a couple of in between blues inflected tunes to add some balance. On one of these, "Gee Baby (Ain't I Good to You)", Kosins shows she has the pipes to do a version of this tune that ranks up there with those by Ruth Brown and Jimmy Witherspoon. Helping to make this track work is the piano of Rick Roe. Coming from Detroit, she cannot avoid the Motown influence in her singing, which adds spice to the session.
This album is also the stage for Kosins to show off her composing skills which are impressive. Her tunes rise above the ordinary, exceeding in imagination and interest most of the contemporary material that is fobbed off as jazz/pop these days. "No Ordinary Joe" is an ear catching barn burner with clever lyrics. "Between Your Heart and Mine" allows the composer/ singer to display a laid back scatting technique combined with what comes close to Vocalese. Roe once more provides solid backing on piano. In addition to Roe, another major contributor is the tenor sax of Shawn "Thunder" Wallace. He kicks off "Maybe September"with an especially soulful chorus, giving Kosins the cushion she needs as she delivers on that romantic ballad. Not all is class A material however. The album could have done without the over orchestrated, saccharine "Melancholy Serenade". But this is a minor distraction coming at the end of what otherwise is a very good, diversified vocal session. Recommended.
Track Listing: I Was There; Paradise; Foxey Lady; Just By Looking in Your Eyes; No Ordinary Joe; Maybe September; Livin' in Style; Between Your Heart and Mine; Love Me Like a Song; Gee Baby (Ain't I Good To You); Melancholy Serenade
Personnel: Kathy Kosins, Sunny Wilkinson - Vocals; Rick Roe, Paul Libman, Ellen Rowe - Piano; Paul Keller, Eric Hochberg - Bass; Gerald Cleaver, Pete Siers, Danny Cox - Drums; Jim Gailloreto, Shawn "Thunder" Wallace, Andrew Bishop - Tenor Sax; Rob Parton, Jeff Stout, Paul Finkbeiner - Trumpet; Tim Coffman, Chris Smith - Trombone; Rubin Alvarez, Dennis Sheridan - Percussion; Dave Onderdonk, Michael King - Guitar; Howard Levy - Harmonica; Rob Pipho - Vibes; Gary Nester - Strings/Synthesizer/Piano; David Luther - Baritone Sax; Keith Kaminsky, Larry Nozaro - Alto Sax; Michael Whalen - Vibes/Strings; Jim Gwinn - Cymbals