Cool jazz vocalist Kathy Sanborn follows her 2011 release Blues for Breakfast with Six Degrees of Cool from Pacific Coast Jazz. A refined blend of cocktail-imbued blues and softly kindled soul jazz, Sanborn’s new album exudes a dreamy ambience in the gentle plumes of the horn’s musings cruising along “What a Man” and the uplifting jaunt of “Long Live Jazz” which she reprises at the ending of the album with a live taping of the track.
The strolling rhythmic pulse of “Bitter Winter” has a reflective sheen as Sanborn describes, “Ain’t it a crime that the big boys take it and the little boys cry… Looking for a better world / It’s a bitter winter.” The lyrics shed light on a not so glamorous lifestyle begat from people being callous to one another. Keeping with the tradition of soul inspired jazz, the lyrics are socially conscientious about the flip side of a comfortable existence.
Moving on, the jumping stride of the drumbeats and the squiggly lines of Wayne Ricci’s trumpet paddling along the title track have an improvised penmanship which trails into the elevating tempo of “No More Same Old Same” showcasing the elasticity of Sanborn’s vocals. The whistle of a steam engine opens “Shanity Man” as a prancing rhythm takes shape in the keys. The liquidity texture of the trumpet dribbling with a spontaneity reflective of Grover Washington, Jr. in “Where Are the Stars” enhances the sunken mood of the track while the hopping keys traipsing across “Ba Doo Bay” act as a spring board for Sanborn’s vocal improvisations displaying a freestyle reminiscent of vintage Anita O’Day. The calming atmospherics of “Can I” is fringed in glistening vibraphones and balmy horn twirls that cushion Sanborn’s vocals in a misty clouds of serenity.
Kathy Sanborn digs her heals in deeper as a staple of modern cool jazz in Six Degrees of Cool. Hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, Kathy Sanborn is a product and a participant in the sprucing movement of jazz along the west coast. With all songs written, arranged, produced, and recorded by Sanborn, Six Degrees of Cool delivers pleasing tunage with a palette laden with lounge music and blues taking the breed of cool jazz into the present.
Kathy Sanborn – vocals and piano, Wayne Ricci – trumpet, the Sanborn band – bass, drums and vibraphones
Long Live Jazz, What a Man, Bitter Winter, Six Degrees of Cool (featuring trumpet player Wayne Ricci), No More Same Old Same, Shanity Man, Where Are the Stars, Ba Doo Bay, Can I, Long Live Jazz (live version)