"...a career that can only be described as singular... think of vocalist Katie Bull as a jazz prism, refracting musical light in endlessly unpredictably ways." Christopher Louden, JazzTimes Nov.1/11
Katie's Bull album
Freak Miracle awarded an NARAS Grammy Nomination consideration in 2011. Congratulations to all the vocal jazz grammy winners.
BEST NEW RELEASES OF 2011-HONORABLE MENTION, The New York City Jazz Record
BEST NEW RELEASES OF 2011- AIM RADIO
purchase this album go to www.innova.mu
HERE FOR PRESS QUOTES
Kimbrough - piano
MIRACLE is Frank Kimbrough's third recording with Katie Bull.
Previous recordings with Katie include Love Spook, and The
Story, So Far.
Frank has been performing live with The Katie Bull Group Project
Kimbrough has been active on the New York jazz scene for nearly
30 years. He is currently a Palmetto recording artist, having
previously recorded as a leader for OmniTone, Soul Note, Igmod,
and Mapleshade. Frank was a founding member and composer-in-residence
of the Jazz Composers Collective (1992 - 2005), and during
the Collective's existence played in nearly twenty of its
associated groups. He continues to perform solo concerts and
with his trio, and is otherwise in demand as a sideman. Frank’s
playing has been recognized by his inclusion in the Downbeat
Critics Poll each year since 2001, and his recordings are
often included in jazz critics' year's-end top-ten lists.
most recent trio CD is Rumors (Palmetto), with bassist Masa
Kamaguchi and drummer Jeff Hirshfield. It features seven of
Kimbrough's original compositions, along with one by the Catalan
composer Federico Mompou. It was released in spring 2010.
much anticipated debut solo piano recording, Air features Frank's
original compositions alongside tunes by Paul Motian, Thelonious
Monk, and Duke Ellington. In a recent review in The New York
Times, Nate Chinen says "fittingly, rewardingly, it's a
mature and personal reflection. He approaches each theme with
generosity and composure. His readings of Monk's "Coming
On The Hudson" and "Jackie-ing", both resplendent
in tensions, hint at an elusive mastery." His 2007 solo
concert at New York's Rubin Museum of Art was named among the
best performances of the year by All About Jazz New York, and
Air one of the top 10 Jazz CDs of 2008 by Slate Magazine.
up in Roxboro, NC in a musical family, Kimbrough received full
support for his musical endeavors, as both of his parents and
all of his siblings were musicians. He has been playing piano
since before he can remember and received influential piano
instruction from an early age. His foundation in classical music
studies grounded him in strong technique and profoundly influenced
his open musical tastes. After leaving college, he formed his
first trio and set out in pursuit of real world musical opportunities,
first in Chapel Hill, and then in Washington, D.C. In Washington
he met Shirley Horn, who became an enthusiastic supporter and
mentor. He worked there with his trio, and as a sideman with
Maurice Robertson, Buck Hill, Paul Horn, Anthony Braxton and
Webster Young. Arriving in New York in the fall of 1981, he
sought out pianists Paul Bley and Andrew Hill, both unique artists
who helped him hone his artistic identity. In 1985, he won the
Great American Jazz Piano Competition at the Jacksonville Jazz
Festival. The next year, on Shirley Horn's recommendation, he
made his first recordings and since then has recorded sixteen
albums as a leader or co-leader.
involvement in the Jazz Composers Collective, with its 11-year-long
concert series, diverse recording projects and frequent touring,
fostered several of Kimbrough’s groups: trios with bassist
Ben Allison and drummer Matt Wilson (Lullabluebye, on Palmetto),
or Allison and Jeff Ballard (Quickening, a live JCC concert
recording on OmniTone), his duo with vibraphonist Joe Locke
(Saturn’s Child and The Willow, both on OmniTone); and
his group with saxophonist Scott Robinson, guitarist Ben Monder
and drummer Tony Moreno (Noumena, also a JCC concert recording
on Soul Note). Major support for Kimbrough’s work as a
composer has come from Meet the Composer, The Mary Flagler Cary
Trust, and Chamber Music America’s Doris Duke Jazz Ensembles
Project. As an integral part of most of the Collective’s
groups, Frank worked closely with the other composers-in-residence,
touring and recording with Ben Allison’s Medicine Wheel
and Peace Pipe groups; Ted Nash’s Still Evolved Quintet
and Double Quartet, Ron Horton’s Quartet and Septet, and
Michael Blake’s Elevated Quartet, Free Association, and
Eulipion Orchestra. Besides co-leading the Herbie Nichols Project
with Ben Allison, he participated in other Collective endeavors
focusing on the music of Andrew Hill, Lucky Thompson and Lennie
Tristano; and he’s played on concerts and recordings by
some of the Collective’s guest composers including Eddie
Gale, Ed Neumeister and Jon Gordon.
1995 Frank was awarded a Jazz Performance Fellowship by the
National Endowment for the Arts for his work on Herbie Nichols’
music, which he'd begun in 1985. The Jazz Composers Collective's
Herbie Nichols Project has toured the U.S., Canada, Brazil,
France, Portugal, Wales, Netherlands, Azores, Belgium, Denmark,
Sweden, and England, and its work has been documented on three
critically acclaimed CDs for Soul Note and Palmetto. Kimbrough
has written about Nichols' life and work for the New Grove Dictionary
of Jazz, and with Ben Allison, contributed liner notes to The
Complete Blue Note Recordings of Herbie Nichols.
also enjoys work as a frequently sought-after sideman, and has
performed or recorded with saxophonists Dewey Redman, Rick Margitza,
Rich Perry, and Noah Preminger, trumpeter Dave Ballou, bassist
Ron Brendle, drummer Tony Moreno, and vocalists Kendra Shank,
Maryanne deProphetis, Judi Silvano, Katie Bull, and others.
As a duet partner, he's been paired with Lee Konitz, Paul Bley,
Joe Locke, Noah Preminger, Scott Robinson, and Ben Allison.
Kimbrough's duo performance with Bley at New York City's Merkin
Hall in May 2006 was cited by Time Out New York magazine as
one of the Best Live Shows of 2006.
Schneider invited Kimbrough to join her orchestra in 1993, just
as she began her five-year Monday night residency at Visiones
in Greenwich Village. Since then, Frank has performed with the
MSO in the U.S., Macao, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Spain, The
Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, France, England, Luxembourg
and Finland. He is prominently featured on Schneider’s
Grammy-winning CD Concert In The Garden , and also appears on
her three previous albums: Coming About, Days Of Wine And Roses,
and Allegresse. He also appears on Sky Blue, her latest on artistShare.
has made a name for himself as a supportive and inspiring educator,
and was recently appointed to the Jazz Studies faculty at the
Juilliard School. From 1996 – 2001, he served on the adjunct
faculty of New York University's Department of Performing Arts
Professions, where he taught applied jazz piano, jazz piano
classes, improvisation, and led two student ensembles. Residencies
and workshops include the Juilliard School, Paris Conservatory
(with Maria Schneider), Oxford University and The New School
University (with the Jazz Composers Collective), Berklee College
of Music, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Eastman School
of Music (with Maria Schneider), Indiana State University, the
University of Iowa, the University of North Florida, the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Appalachian State University,
the University of Minnesota, and Jazz@Lincoln Center Outreach
Program (with Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts). Frank has also
served as an adjudicator for Chamber Music America's Doris Duke
Jazz Ensembles Project, The Great American Jazz Piano Competition,
The American Pianists Association's Cole Porter Fellowship Competition,
and the Thelonious Monk Competition in composition. He has also
contributed transcriptions and annotations for a book of Andrew
Hill's music to be published in 2010 by Hal Leonard.
Knoblock - piano; electric piano; accordion
is Landon Knoblock's first recording with Katie Bull;
Landon was introduced to Katie by Frank Kimbrough, Mr. Knoblock's
Landon has been performing live with The Katie Bull Group Project
Knoblock is a creative pianist, an ambitious composer, and an
adventurous improviser. Hailed as "a superb pianist"
by Ed Blanco of
ejazznews, his music is passionate and spontaneous. Landon Knoblock's
music has been described by Bruce Lindsay at All About jazz
energetic, beautiful, loud, soft, subtle and surprising."
His performances are characterized by the highest level of artistry.
John Moutak from About.com Jazz states "He performed on
the piano with ranging confidence, and everything was fair game
-- note clusters, sonic bursts, silence, internal plucking."
Living in New York, by way of Miami, Landon Knoblock has performed
with Matt Wilson, Ben Allison, Ron Horton, Katie Bull, Kendra
Shank, Oscar Noriega,George Schuller, Michael Bates, Joe Fonda,
Jeff Lederer, Noah Preminger, and Antonello Salis. His latest
album, Gasoline Rainbow, was recently released on Fractamodi
Music to critical acclaim. Chris Spector of the Midwest Record
has this to say: "Angular free jazz that skirts the line
of civil rights/loft jazz, this duo knows how to improvise and
kick it around spontaneously with fine results." Landon
Knoblock is also a member of saxophonist Michael Blake's New
Quartet. Knoblock has performed at The Cornelia St. Café,
55 Bar, Barbes, and the Knitting Factory. He has also performed
at the Young Jazz in Town Festival and the Art Blakey Jazz Club
in Italy; the Boston Music Festival, An Die Musik in Baltimore,
and Chris' Jazz Café in Philadelphia.
Fonda - bass
is Joe Fonda's fifth recording with Katie Bull.
Joe plays on Conversations With the Jokers; Love Spook;
Cup of Joe, No Bull/The Bull-Fonda Duo Album; & The Story,
So Far .
Joe has been performing live with Katie Bull,
and The Katie Bull Group Project, since 2000.
Fonda is a composer, bassist, recording artist, interdisciplinary
performer, producer and educator.
accomplished international Jazz artist, Fonda has performed
with his own ensembles throughout the United States, Canada,
Europe and Asia. He has collaborated and performed with such
artists as Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp, Ken McIntyre, Lou
Donaldson, Bill and Kenny Barron, Leo Smith, Perry Robinson,
Dave Douglas, Katie Bull, Curtis Fuller, Bill Dixon, Han Bennink,
Bobby Naughton, Xu Fengia, Randy Weston, Gebhard Ullmann, Carla
Bley, Carlo Zingaro, Barry Altschul, Billy Bang.
was the bassist with the renowned Anthony Braxton sextet, octet,
tentet, from 1984 through 1999. Fonda also sat on the Board
of Directors from 1994 to 1999, and was the President from 1997
to 1999 of the newly formed Tri-Centric Foundation. He has also
performed with the 38-piece Tri-Centric orchestra under the
direction of Anthony Braxton, and was the bassist for the premiere
performance of Anthony Braxton’s opera, Shalla Fears for
the Poor, performed at the John Jay Theater in New York, New
York, October 1996.
a composer, Fonda has been the recipient of numerous grants
and commissions From Meet the Composer New York and the New
England Foundation on the Arts . He has released twelve recordings
under his own name. (Reviews and recordings available). Fonda
was also a member of The Creative Musicians Improvisors Forum
directed by Leo Smith, and was the bassist with the American
Tap Dance Orchestra in New York City, directed by world renowned
tap dancer, Brenda Bufalino.
1989, Fonda performed with Fred Ho’s Jazz and Peking opera
in its world premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. From
1982 to 1986 Fonda was the bassist and dancer with the Sonomama
Dance Company. An independent producer since 1978, Fonda is
the founding director of Kaleidoscope Arts an interdisciplinary
performance ensemble and is the producer and musicial director
for the Connecticut Composers and improvisors Festival from
2001 to 2011.
Fonda has been recording and touring extensively with the Fonda-Stevens
Group, Conference Call , The Fab Trio, The Nu Band and Bottoms
Out , with performances at the Bim huis in Amsterdam, Holland,
Prague Jazz Festival, Czech Republic, Jazz Halo Festival, Belgium,
Jazz Festival Thurinsen, Weimer, Germany, Berlin Jazz Festival
Berlin Germany , Jazz Im Agusto Festival Lisbon Portugal, Natt
Jazz Festival Bergen Norway, The Vision Festival New York, New
York, Jazz and More Festival Sibiu Romania, Bakau Jazz Festival
,Azerbijan, Tondela Jazz Festival Tondala portugal , Vancouver
Jazz Festival ,Vancouver Canada, Guelph Jazz Festival ,Guelph
of Fonda’s most recent projects are From the Source, The
Off Road Quartet.
the Source is a group that incorporates the tap dancing and
poetry of Brenda Bufalino and the healing arts of Vicki Dodd,
and four jazz musicians. The group has released their first
CD entitled, Joe Fonda and From the Source, on Konnex Records.
Off Road Quartet is comprised of four musicians from four different
countries. Ux Fengia from Beijing China , Carlos Zingaro from
Lisbon Portugal , Lucas Niggle from Zurich Switzerland and Joe
Fonda New York USA. The Off Road Quartet blends the musics from
all four of these musicians cultures into a unique musicial
and visual experence.
Sorgen - drums
is Harvey Sorgen's second recording with Katie Bull.
Harvey is a drummer on The Story, So Far album.
Harvey has been performing live with The Katie Bull Group Project
Percussionist and Composer Harvey Sorgen has been an integral
part of the worldwide jazz and improvised music scene for over
of influential musicians that Harvey has worked with include:
Ahmad Jamal, Michelle Shocked, Paul Simon, Dewey Redman, Dave
Douglas, Mark Feldman, Pete Levin, Zakir Hussain, Giovanni Hildago,
Wadada Leo Smith, Cameron Brown, Neil Rolnick, Anthony Braxton,
John Stubblefield, Bruce Hornsby, Roswell Rudd, Phil Lesh, Bill
Frisell, Fonda/Stevens Group, Carlos Santana, Dry Jack, Art
Lande, NRBQ, Bob Weir, Greg Allman, Jack Dejohnette, Dave Samuels,
Garth Hudson, among many others.
Sorgen’s first instructional video "Drumming Made
Easy" is currently available worldwide from Homespun Tapes
Inc./Hal Leonard publishing.
Sorgen also appears on Jack DeJohnette’s "Musical
Expression On The Drum Set" and Jorma Kaukonen’s
"The Electric Guitar Of Jorma Kaukonen"DVD. DVD's
also available from Homespun Tapes Inc.
Sorgen endorses Fidock Handcrafted Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Vic
Firth Drum Sticks, Remo Drumheads, Everyone’s Drumming
Percussion, and Veiger gig bags exclusively.
Lederer - reeds
is Jeff Lederer's second recording with Katie Bull.
Jeff plays on The Story, So Far album.
Jeff has been performing live with The Katie Bull Group Project
Lederer is a New York based saxophonist/composer/educator whose
work crosses the genres of jazz, latin and creative improvised
He has worked
for many years in the Matt Wilson Quartet and the ensembles
of Bobby Sanabria and Salsa trombonist Jimmy Bosch. He has recorded
for Gunther Schuller’s GM Recordings, CIMP Records, Palmetto
Records and his own Little (i) Music label-His new quartet recording,
“Sunwatcher”, will be released in June of 2011 on
the Jazzheads label featuring Buster Williams on bass, Jamie
Saft on piano and Matt Wilson, drum.
Jeff has performed
at numerous major jazz festivals including the Newport Jazz
Festival, JVC Jazz Festival , Monterey Jazz Festival, Litchfield
Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, Moldes Jazz, Guimaraes Festival
(Portugal), Tiempo Latino (France) and many, many others.
As an educator,
Jeff has worked with Jazz At Lincoln Center where he was featured
in the 2010 Jazz for Young People Concert “What is Free
Jazz?”. He has taught workshops and residencies in jazz
and saxophone at the University of Miami, New England Conservatory,
Dartmouth College, SUNY Binghamton, University of Northern Iowa
and many other leading jazz departments.
In 2009 he performed
as a guest soloist with the Ellington competition winning Roosevelt
High School Band (Seattle). Lederer also works as a music curriculum
consultant and is the author of the Childrens’ Orchestral
Repetoire Project (Ch.O.R.D.).Jeff’s cross-stylistic composition/arranging
projects include “Los Sazones”, a salsa reimaginng
of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” which was commissioned
by the Ravinia Festival for the Chicago Symphony and has been
performed by many major orchestras including the Los Angeles
Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.
group “Shakers n’ Bakers” performs modern
jazz interpretations of the Vision songs of the Shaker religious
Rose Gottlieb - vocals
is Ayelete's first recording with Katie Bull.
Katie and Ayelete have been friends since 2000, when they met
in a vocalists' Showcase,
where they were mutually drawn to the other's voice, outlook,
& original compositions.
by the NY Times as a “Commanding Vocalist”, Ayelet
Is a world traveler, explorer of sound and seeker of musical
adventures. Living on the line between New York, London and
Tel Aviv, she has shared the stage with some of the greatest
improvisers of our times, including John Zorn, Joe Lovano and
Bobby McFerrin. Ayelet has performed on stages from Carnegie
Hall and the Guggenheim’s Woks & Process Series to
downtown clubs such as Jazz Standard and Jazz Gallery.
released three critically acclaimed CDs featuring her original
music. Her first album “Internal-External” (Genevieve
’04), was chosen as Best Debut of 2004 by the leading
jazz publication “All About Jazz”. The following,
Mayim Rabim (Tzadik ’06) is a song cycle based on the
erotic biblical love poem Song of Songs. Following its release,
Mayim Rabim continued to receive awards and recognition, including
BRIC ’07 and BOB Award ’08 (PS122’s Best of
the Boroughs). Ayelet’s latest album Upto Here | From
Here (Obliqsound ’09) features her long standing Sextet,
including frequent collaborator pianist Anat Fort (ECM recording
artist) with whom Ayelet continues to perform, in a duo collaboration
as well as in Ayelet's recent project "Betzidei Drachim"
Drachim" (On the Roadside) combines Israeli and Palestinian
poetry with Ayelet's Contemporary Jazz compositions. The musicians
Ayelet collaborates with on this project are all improvisers
who have a strong classical background as well, which gives
the music a special "third stream" feel. She draws
on the words of poets such as Agi Mishol, Shimon Adaff, Mahmud
Darwish, Yehuda Amichai, Naomi Shihab Nye and more. Upcoming
performances include the Tel Aviv Jazz Festival. This project
is planned to be recorded in 2011.
is Ayelet's dynamic international band, consisting of rotating
musicians with whom Ayelet has been continually playing over
the years. The repertoire is heavily based on improvisation,
and the lyrical content frequently reflects on concepts of expansion
and contraction in a person's life. An example of this can be
found in Anna Smail's words (New Zealand based poet) which Ayelet
put to music:
"I find the things I take away are ill assorted / a small
handful of pink gravel / a dried thumbnail petal of a fern /
a photo that reveals / blured"
- a 40 minute composition by Ayelet for string quartet and percussion,
written for NY based string quartet ETHEL and percussionist
Satoshi Takeishi. The piece was composed in memory of Ayelet's
close friend and musical collaborator Take Toriyama, who passed
away in 2007. She composed the majority of it in Wellington,
New Zealand, in front of the clashing waves of the pacific ocean.
The piece is laced with symbolism from the Jewish and Buddhist
traditions of mourning. Aside from the traditional instruments,
Ayelet also scored for a blanket with 49 bells which is "played"
with the help of a hidden wind fan. the sound of the bells and
the movement of the blanket accompany the piece. The blanket
is being made these days by installation artist Michelle Jaffe.
Shiv’a is expected to be recorded in 2011.
Jaffe has commissioned Ayelet to compose the music for her installation
"Wappen Field". Scored for seven improvising vocalists,
the voices will be "choreographed" within Michelle's
installation, consisting of 12 metal masks, each hiding a speaker.
Ayelet composes, produces and performs in this piece of music,
along side singers including Fay Victor, Kyoko Kitamura, Jeremiah
Lockwood and others.
is a member of "Mycale", a NY based international
a-cappella quartet - with Basya Schechter (Brooklyn), Sofia
Rei (Argentina), Malika Zarra (Morocco). Mycale was commissioned
by composer John Zorn to arrange, perform and record eleven
compositions from his Book of Angels: Masada Book II. Their
CD "Mycale: Book of Angels, Vol 13" was released in
early 2010, and they have been touring internationally since,
including performances at the Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada),
Teatro Manzoni (Italy), Beit Avi-Chai (Jerusalem) and an upcoming
performance at Lincoln Center (NY).
is Katie Bull's fifth recoding, and her first on the Innova
Previous recordings were self-produced on her own label, Corn
Hill Indie: Conversations With the Jokers;
Love Spook; Cup of Joe/No Bull; and The Story, So Far, CD &
Bull is a “downtown cutting edge” jazz vocalist,
composer, and the band leader of The Katie Bull Group Project.
She was born in New York City, moved upstate to Brockport, NY,
in early childhood, and returned to Manhattan’s Tribeca
as a teenager. Katie has released four self-produced albums
on her Corn Hill Indie Label - Conversations With the Jokers;
Love Spook; Cup of Joe/No Bull; and The Story, So Far, a CD/DVD
Katie Bull Group Project current pool of members includes Frank
Kimbrough and Landon Knoblock (pianos); Joe Fonda, Hilliard
Greene (bass); Harvey Sorgen & George Schuller (drums);
Jeff Lederer (saxophones). In addition, Katie has played and/or
recorded with numerous musicians over the years, including (to
name a few) Michael Jefry Stevens, (piano); Saizon Machado,
Martin Wind, Cameron Brown, Ben Allison (bass); Lou Grassi,
Matt Wilson (drums); Marcelo Coelho, Ras Moshe (saxophones);
Alejandro DeMogli, Dom Minasi, David Phelps (guitar).
last album, The Story, So Far was on the JazzTimes Top 50 Albums
list; Jazz Improv Top 50 Album; and made All About Jazz –
New York Honorable Mention in 2007. A performance of music from
the Story album was a New York Times Pick (Nate Chinen). Her
album Love Spook was Editor’s Choice in Cadence in ’05.
Her duo album with Joe Fonda, Cup of Joe, No Bull was released
the same year to critical acclaim, recorded and mastered by
David Baker. Her premiere album, Conversations with the Jokers,
featured Michael Jefry Stevens (piano), Joe Fonda (bass), and
Lou Grassi (drums) and made 15 Top 10 CMJ Radio Charts, culminating
in an inviation to the Rochester International Jazz Festival’s
Jazz Week event at the Montage.
performs regularly as part of RUCMA/ARTS FOR ARTS Evolving Voice
Series. Other NYC venues Katie has performed at include The
Local 269, 55Bar, Smiths Bar, Cornelia Street, Pam Kraft's Loft
Jazz , University of the Streets, and The Stone. She performs
annually at the La Plata International Jazz Festival in La Plata,
is also a published and produced playwright; Best Plays of 2005
Anthology, NYTE Press; Best Monologues ’06 , J.L. Lapidus;
Best Women’s Monologues of the 21st Century, Applause
Books, ‘08; and her jazz writing has been included in
AllAboutJazz-NY's Megaphone '09; and in the German Press, Buddy's
Knife, a poetry anthology, Silent Solos, Improvisors Speak ('10).
Katie was given the honor of inclusion in jazz critic Scott
Yanow’s book, The Jazz Singers.
grew up listening to live jazz improvisation in her home. She
was raised by her now deceased father, Richard Bull, who was
a jazz piano player from Detroit. Richard migrated to New York
City to study and play with Lennie Tristano. It was there that
he became a post-modern dance improvisor, and married Katie’s
now deceased stepmother, dance-anthropologist & dance improvisor
Cynthia Novack. The song "Anniversary" is dedicated
to Richard and Cynthia. Katie’s biological mother, Fran
Bull, is a painter and multi-media artist living in Vermont.
Richard and Cynthia co-founded the Warren Street Performance
Loft in Tribeca, which was also a living space for the family.
Players and family friends such as Jay Clayton, Lou Grassi,
Borah Bergman, Elliot Sharpe, Meredith Monk, Brenda Buffalino,
Bill T. Jones, Judith Ren-Lay, Daniel Nagrin, Julien Beck/Judith
Malina, and Jane Ira Bloom (to name just a few) would ofen grace
her parent’s loft space in Tribeca for rehearsals and
performance-based collaborations. Katie credits her aesthetics
to growing up within ear shot of those wild romps, and within
witnessing range of those veteran pioneers’ ground- breaking
is indebted to her teachers: Her beloved speaking voice mentor,
Chuck Jones, inspired a life journey of hearing music through
the primary path of the spoken word. Katie is a freelance vocal
production coach for the speaking voice (founder, Whole Body
Voice; freelance coach of performers in film, television, &
stage; on faculty at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting Studio
& NYU/Tish School of the Arts Drama Dept.) Katie affectionately
refers to her jazz singing mentors as her “jazz mothers”:
Ms. Jay Clayton and Ms. Sheila Jordan.
currently resides in Upper Manhattan with her children, Hannajane,
also has a home in the Catskill mountains, where she often writes
Christopher Louden, JazzTimes Nov.1/11____
"...a career that can only be described as singular... think of vocalist Katie Bull as a jazz prism, refracting musical light in endlessly unpredictably ways."
Florence Wetzel - AllAboutJazz.com
" Katie Bull is a highly original talent, a vocalist steeped in tradition who fearlessly rocks the boundaries of the known. Freak Miracle is a wonderfully expressive and free-flowing CD, a fresh and unpredictable mix that highlights Bull's gift for approaching music and songwriting from her own unique angle......."
Monsieur Delire (Quebec blog)
"She’s young, she has a suave voice, she knows the art of torch singing, yet she knows out not to follow it too closely. Katie Bull is a very accessible modern jazz singer, and an accomplished songwriter. Her lyrics are delicate and elegant. On Freak Miracle she is backed by a very strong band consisting of the rhythm section from the Fonda-Stevens Group (Joe Fonda and Harvey Sorgen), pianists Frank Kimbrough and Landon Knoblock, and Jeff Lederer on tenor sax. There a few standards here, but the real deal is Bull’s compositions: poignant songs that, occasionally, take a few steps left of the norm. Beautiful, masterful jazz music, from a unique singer-songwriter."
NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD JUNE 2011
KATIE BULL: FREAK MIRACLE
textbook example of how effectively a
jazz vocalist can integrate elements of the inside and the outside...consistently
musical... consistently expressive, not to mention individualistic....her individuality really
comes through on 11 originals as well as on highly
personal interpretations of George Gershwin's
"Let's Call the Whole Thing Off", Jimmy Van Heusen's
"I Thought About You", and Antonio Carlos Jobim's
"How Insensitive" ...(Bull) manages to keep things as intriguing on the standards as she does on
the originals which range from the moody "Blue
Light and the blusey "An Opportunity" to the Sun Ra-ish
"Road Trip". Bull has her influences...the
cool-toned introspection of June Christy and Helen Merrill...experimentation
of Betty Carter, Jeanne Lee, and Sheila Jordan...
But ultimately Katie Bull
sounds like Katie Bull.
And her sense of adventure serves
her well throughout FREAK MIRACLE."
Alex Henderson, The New York City Jazz Record
VOX NEWS: THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD JUNE 2011 by Suzanne
"...Other stars in town this month: Stacey Kent at
Birdland Jun. 7th-11th and Katie Bull’s Freak Miracle
CD release (Innova) Jun. 27th at Clemente Soto Velez"
Applegate Edwards; GAPPLEGATE MUSIC REVIEW
2011 FREAK MIRACLE REVIEW by Grego Applegate Edwards; founder
of his own Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog/Music Review Blog,
and writer for Cadence and AllAboutJazz.com. "Katie Bull
is the sort of vocalist who uses herself as an instrumentalist....This
is music with a freedom. And with a stretch of the vocalists-with-improvisors
tradition....If you want a modern-day vocal disc that puts a
fresh face on the genre, FREAK MIRACLE will give you that....She
is a real talent."
AMAZON.COM 5-Stars by Rick Cornell
"5-Stars...Bull can recreate order out of entropy....Soulful...The instrumentalists shine on this disc.... I really wish albums like this could be better known...Very highly recommended." Amazon.com 5-Stars/Rick Cornell FREAK MIRACLE
This is a terrific album that is destined to fly well under the radar. I'm here to advocate that the radar be raised.
In the 7-8 years since I last heard Katie Bull, she has become a vocal free-jazz singer. She is sort of in the school of singers such as Jay Clayton, Ann Dyer or Lisa Sokolov (not coincidentally, she begins this c.d with a tribute to the "Godmother" of this school, Sheila Jordan). But her pristine singing voice reminds me more of Kendra Shank. Given that both sing with the wonderful pianist, Frank Kimbrough, that is not a coincidence, either.
Singers are the least likely to become free-jazzers. It requires a non-linear mode of thinking that singers usually don't possess. Ms. Bull succeeds with mostly original songs. The "free-est jazz" cut, however, is the standard "I Thought About You." (Picture: "I took a trip on a train, and as it derailed, I thought about you"....) And she revisits the Gershwin chestnut "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" with 21st century sensibilities; time does not erase the inability of the sexes to communicate, but women were in a much different societal place in the 1930's than they are today.
As to be expected from free-jazzers, Ms. Bull can re-create order out of entropy. Listen to her original "blues," "Blue Light," and hear how she does that.
But the thing that impresses me about her music is how soulful she sounds. Listen to her intensity in "One Moment" (particularly when she sings "Bring it on, that's what I say, love is sharp and it stabs, like a sting-ray"). Or her tome to Tony Soprano, "An Opportunity," when she sings, "How many years has it been, Baby, since we've been on the run." Or the intensity of seeing I assume to be her mother or grandmother one more time in "Anniversary" ("She's back again, she's happy," intoned into our brains.)
The instrumentalists shine on this disc. Kimbrough is wonderful, as usual; but so are Landon Knoblauch (accordion), Jeff Lederer (saxes), Joe Fonda (bass) and Harvey Sorgen (drums). This group of musicians just get down and sing; and Ms. Bull certainly is a voice that sings with them. They make music together with a shared purpose. Ego was checked at the door.
I really wish albums like this could be better known. This one is terrific. If you like Sheila Jordan, Mark Murphy, Kurt Elling, Esperanza Spaulding, Theo Bleckmann, Tom Waits - oh, to hell with it, if you like hearing what jazz singers are capable of doing - then you will want at least to give this a listen. Very highly recommended. RC