Street Date: February 9th, 2018
Kathy Kosins has won the hearts of critics and fans around the globe with her eclectic musical palette that expands the rich history of Jazz and Soul. Her sixth album, "Uncovered Soul" released on Membran Records features a melting pot of accomplished and renowned musicians, including pianist and organist Mitch Forman, bassist Kevin Axt, drummer Eric Harland, pianist and saxophonist Kamau Kenyatta, guitarist Gregory “G-MO” Moore, trumpeter Curtis Taylor, percussionist Munyungo Jackson, vocalist Darryl Johnson, multi-instrumentalists Paul Randolph and Ed Motta, keyboardist and trumpeter Amp Fiddler, percussionist Mike Racette and pianist Glauton Campello. This soul-infused project, recorded at Big City Recording, California and Nester Studios, Michigan, showcases Kosins’ signature smoky voice in prime form and takes listeners on a dynamic musical journey through the sonic landscape of her native Detroit through the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Born and raised during the legendary Motown years in Detroit, Kathy Kosins’ soulful voice, flawless phrasing and deep-rooted passion for stories and characters has been wowing audiences since she first came to prominence in the late 1980’s as a background singer for Don Was and Was/Not Was.
Over two decades and five albums later, Kosins has circled back to her soul-infused roots with this new project. Produced by Kamau Kenyatta, the Grammy-winning producer behind Gregory Porter’s last two albums, “Uncovered Soul” features little-known masterpieces by Curtis Mayfield, The Neville Brothers, and Bill Withers, among others, alongside four originals penned by Kosins and collaborators.
With Kamau at her side, Kosins let’s her soul and groove run free. Representative of the musical landscape of 1970s Detroit, “Uncovered Soul” masterfully transports the unique Detroit-centric sound into the here and now. Songs like the Denise Nichols-penned "Can We Pretend", recorded by Bill Withers in the 1970s, sound as fresh and rejuvenated as a current soul gem and "Miss Martha", one of the very last songs Curtis Mayfield recorded before his untimely death, is truly a piece of gold. It is no wonder that Kenyatta raves about the songs: "It is my hope that the beauty and accessibility of the arrangements and the vocal and musical performances transmit this feeling to listeners globally.” The heartbreaking Paul Buchanan-penned ballad “The Downtown Lights” is given a new, eerily beautiful life on “Uncovered Soul” while sagging swamp groove of "Voodoo" (The Neville Brothers) identifies Kathy's session background. "Dreamin" by Amos Lee showcases her excellent, candid taste.
Three of Kosins’ original compositions have been added to “Uncovered Soul” to provide a contemporary point of view and they are co-written with hit songwriter Jeff Franzel. The gems include the magical title song with its irresistible hook, as well as "If Love Could Talk" and "A To B", which are destined to become future soul classics.
Kosins contributions to the contemporary music scene cannot be overstated. In 1996, Kosins collaborated with both LA and New York based writers and composed a collection of jazz tunes, with the intent of selling them to already recognized jazz artists such as Dianne Reeves, Nancy Wilson and Diane Schuur. However, Michigan-based indie label Schoolkids Records discovered this repertoire, and, impressed and mesmerized by Kosins’ soulful voice urged her to record and release the material under her own name. It was then that Kosins’ prolific jazz career began to take shape. In 1996, Kosins debut, “All In A Dreams Work” was released and placed in the top 20 in the Gavin Report.
Kosins went on to release more critically acclaimed recordings including 2002’s “Mood Swings” (Chiaroscuro Records), 2006’s “Vintage” (Mahogany Jazz), 2012’s “To The Ladies Of Cool” (Resonance) and 2013’s “The Space Between” (Mahogany Jazz).
With her jazz repertoire always enhanced by her soulful vocal performance, “Uncovered Soul” is the natural next step in Kosins’ prolific career.
C. MICHAEL BAILEY
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
“The disc is an infusion of well-chosen material from the past and present.” Read the full feature here.
On "Uncovered Soul": "A nighttime ballad that has the feel of the classic 80s stylings of Anita Baker and Phyllis Hyman. And Kathy sounds terrific on this track, which she also wrote." Read the full review here.
"...soulful, funky, but abidingly cool, the noirish effect reinforced by predominantly relaxed tempos and a dark, resonant voice that makes a virtue of restraint." Read the full review here.
MUSIC & MORE
"Every time I check out new releases, I hope to find an album like Kathy Kosins' Uncovered Soul." Read the full review here.
GINA LOVES JAZZ
“What you get here are actual songs without any stupid gimmicks, a crisp and rich production and a singer with a voice that has been trained as a sought-after backing vocalist, esteemed jazz artist with some great albums under her own name, and a skilled songwriter who surrounds herself with the perfect people to help get her message across.” Read the full 5 star review here.
"...it gives goosebumps to fans of old 1980's R&B."