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Cathie Rae

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Reviews of Cathie Rae

 

05/01/2008 Sheila Jordan

Cathie Rae is a wonderful singer.

 

09/06/2006 Ian Mann, 24dash.com

Flow – Jazz Base JBS03
Critic Rating - 4 stars

This is a top class vocal album from Cathie Rae, a member of the notable Scottish jazz dynasty whose numbers include her father Ronnie (bass) and brother John (drums).
With the exception of the closing "Tired Of Lovin You" the music on "Flow" is a collection of ballads lovingly produced by Rae’s partner Julian Arguelles. Arguelles also helped with some of the arrangements which are beautifully performed by a superb band who exhibit a remarkable empathy with the singer.
The emphasis is very much on the group sound and mutual support for the vocalist. Consequently there are few solos by the instrumentalists although Steve Hamilton’s limpid piano and Graeme Scott’s conversational guitar are featured in brief and tasteful solos. Saxophonist Martin Kershaw mainly concentrates on textures and the band is completed by rising bass star Aidan O’Donnell who is impeccable throughout, and by John Blease who provides intelligent and subtle drums and percussion.
Rae’s vocals are crystal clear, relaxed and gently seductive. She has a real talent for jazz phrasing and she and the band really allow the songs to breathe. The material varies from classic standards such as "Here’s That Rainy Day" and "It Never Entered My Mind" to original songs by Rae and her associates. Julian Arguelles is credited as co-composer with Rae of "Such Sweet Madness" and he also co-wrote "Invisible Thread" with the Irish born singer Christine Tobin. In between there is an adaptation of Thelonious Monk’s "Still We Dream" and a reading of A.C.Jobim’s environmental paean "Forever Green".
All the songs are delivered in the band’s signature house style-cool, relaxed and unhurried with every note being made to count. The only real exception to the rule is the closing "Tired Of Lovin You" written by Cathie and her brother John. This is a 'bluesy sax' fuelled romp that gives Rae the opportunity to show her playful side and indeed the whole band seems to be having great fun especially Kershaw who is finally given the chance to cut loose.
This is a class above most vocal jazz releases some of which are just glossy pop with a jazzy sheen.
The arrangements make this a perfect mood piece and superficially an ideal late night jazz album but there is still a great deal of substance here and genuine interaction between the singer and musicians. In short it’s proper jazz.
Beautifully sung, played, arranged and produced this is one of the best new albums I’ve heard in this genre. Smooth, but not bland, and highly recommended to all fans of vocal jazz.

 

01/03/2006 Musician Magazine

CATHIE RAE
FLOW

Soft and beguiling vocals from Cathie, plus sensitive support from a crack team of jazz players includng Martin Kershaw on sax and Steve Hamilton on piano. Produced with affection by her partner Julian Arguelles, this set features covers and self-penned numbers, all of which entice you with the unbeatable combination of delicious under layers and sweet top lines.

 

01/01/2006 Jazz Views, Nick Lea

Cathie Rae's "Flow" voted amongst Nick Lea's Top 10 CDs for 2005.

 

09/10/2005 Alison Kerr, Scotland on Sunday

Cathie Rae "Flow"
Jazz Base Scotland

Rae favours unusual melodies and has assembled a lovely collection of songs ranging from classics to original compositions. The mood is intimate, with Rae’s unflashy style and crystal clear voice.

 

01/10/2005 Nick Lea, Jazz Views

Cathie Rae, Flow

It was only a few years ago that it was a common gripe at just how many female singers there were. Everywhere you looked there seemed to be another vocalist with a CD to promote vying for her share in the marketplace. If in the intervening time this phenomenon shows no sign of slowing down it has shown a number of artists pulling well ahead of the pack, of which Cathie Rae is one of a handful of singers of real stature.
Ms Rae is confident enough in her arrangemnts, and technique to deliver achingly delicate renditions of some well known tunes and original compositions that are quite breathtaking. 'Love Came On Stealthy Fingers' is a brave choice for an opener, but sets the tone and mood immediately. Cathie's delivery is so soft and gentle yet thoroughly compelling that one almost leans forward to listen carefully so as not to miss a word.

The real meat of the album comes in the four tracks arranged by Cathie's partner, Julian Arguelles, who incidently wrote the music for two of them. In these pieces we hear Rae really stretching herself in the challanging arrangements that give the music that extra something that mark it out as something special. The two original compositions by Arguelles are quite outstanding. 'Invisible Thread' has lyrics by fellow vocalist, Christine Tobin, who featured the song on her 'House Of Women' album. Rae takes it a slow 12/8 as opposed to the straight ballad feel employed by Tobin, and delivers the lyrics with a sentiment that is heartfelt, echoed by another immaculately conceived solo by Kershaw. 'Such Sweet Madness' finds Cathie herself supplying the lyrics to Arguelles challanging tune, and an arrangement that demands impeccable timing. From its gentle percussion intro with the piano and voice seemingly playing out a dialogue that develops in intensity, to a release of tension with the return to John Blease's delicate work at the drums to gently take the piece out.

A very fine album from a vocalist who, judging from this latest release, has an adventuress side to her music that I for one look forward to hearing her develop further.

 

13/09/2005 Rob Adams, The Herald

Cathie Rae "Flow"

"With a second album that shows growing assurance over a wide range of jazz styles, Cathie Rae is coy, confident and brave enough to try old songs in new ways. She sings with clarity and feeling. This is an album that should take Rae’s career up another notch.

 

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