Cathy Segal-Garcia
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L.A. JAZZ SCENE
CD REVIEW Cathy Segal-Garcia “Secret Life” (Dash Hoffman Records)

Long a favorite of Los Angeles jazz audiences, singer Cathy Segal-Garcia has changed her approach for this latest album, revealing a “secret” love for popular music, which she folds seamlessly into jazz’s mainstream. Along with pianist Karen Hammack, double bassist Chris Symer and drummer Kendall Kay, she interprets a program of lyrical adventure – 9 out of 10 are her originals –with a rich, exotic flavor and convincing passion. Like Broadway theater numbers, each selection tells a story. Segal-Garcia gets serious and turns on the heart as she sets out to conquer. For most of the selections, she’s working with a chorus that echoes her sentiment and completes each thought. Nevertheless, the balance for this project swings into a filed apart from straight-ahead jazz and sensual ballads.

“Save Your Love (for Me)” and “20 Men Waiting” reveals ties to the rockin’ world of R&B, whereas “My Friend” and “My Russia” take on exotic, world-wise textures. “Miko Oiwake” stands out for its lyrical beauty, “God’s Grandest Theme” runs with a deep, inner blues fever, and “The Song” reveals a close kinship with folk music. The true spirit is there. “Secret Life” finds the singer at her best, doing what she has done successfully for years, telling a story through song, intimately, as if she were standing next to you, sharing a moment of warm sunshine together.

Jim Santella

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