Review in Cabaret Scenes
By JOHN HOGLUND
June 10, 2014
IN MY FASHION
Katie Eagleson’s fourth CD, In My Fashion, is one terrific salute to some terrific classic songs by a girl singer who stays true to the material with class and smart delivery. This confident lady knows her stuff. Backed by some wonderful musicians, she glides through gems like “Always True to You in My Fashion” and a tender medley fusing “Long Ago and Far Away” with “All the Things You Are” that is as fine as anything Rosemary Clooney or Helen Forrest would offer in their big band days. Eagleson also has a knack for bringing a special, yet simple, touch to songs through intelligent phrasing, along with subtle use of her mellow alto. She never gets in the way of the words and music the way too many singers today tend to do to“show off.” With such talented musicians, smart arrangements and her personalized spin on these evergreens, the easy-listen album invites us to hit the repeat button more than once. And, as she implies in her liner notes, it does capture the up-close feeling of a cabaret show. A perfect example is a beautiful Irving Berlin medley that flows. Her honey-voice simplicity pours over these gems like caramel syrup in a way that invites comparisons to the golden age, when the masters showed everyone how to get it right. Other particularly shining cuts include a fun bossa romp with “O Pato” (English words by Jon Hendricks) and more fun with a swinging “Ev’rything I’ve Got.” “Blues in the Night” may be a bit shy of the heft of a gritty blueser like Bessie Smith, but it is still effective. An interesting, reinvented jazzy-rhythmic “Over the Rainbow” delivers a deft spin that scores high marks on this beloved classic that shows off the musicians in an arrangement that soars.
Overall, Katie Eagleson is a saloon singer in a league with some greats who are long gone. Cabaret is lucky to have her and this album is testament to why classy classics have endured. Her impressive musical team includes: Tom Lawton (piano); Madison Rast (bass); Grant MacAvoy (drums); Tom Giacabetti (guitar); Len Pierro (saxes); and Adeline Tomasone (flute). The album is appropriately bookended with “My Shining Hour”—which it is.