It is very difficult to follow up an album that had 14 timeless tracks on it and which ranked among the best of the year. The songs of her 2012 album “Way Down Low”, her second one after the 2009 debut “Take To The Sky”, still haven’t lost momentum and so here comes album number three. “The Big Picture” had been released in the US and other territories in late September and was postponed for Germany and other countries until last Friday.
Mitchell Froom has produced Kat Edmonson‘s latest work and he has put her charming, unique vocals more in your face than on the last one so there is something of a hushed urgency about the music. I think the overall sound of her last record which she produced herself together with bassist Danton Boller and legendary engineer Al Schmitt suited her better.
There are a lot of nice attention-grabbing moments here, like the addition of the Calder Quartet as a string background on “Rainy Day Woman” and “Oh My Love” and more, or some celeste and glockenspiel on “Crying”. Seems to me that she should have stayed with the line-up for her last album, though. Only Chris Lovejoy and Brian Wolfe are left from her wonderful opus from 2012. The songs are now going into a more middle-of-the-road direction than before and the sublime mood of her “Way Down Low” album is gone. But this one is still way above average!
And what is still there again, of course, is her outstanding voice which you can’t compare to anyone else’s. Kat to me sounds best on the more subdued songs here like “All The Way” (she has written or co-written all 12 songs for the album) and the compelling “For Two”, which she had already in her repertoire when I last saw her at the Northsea Jazz Festival in 2013. Since then, she’s been opening for Jamie Cullum and has again been Number 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.
Catch Kat Edmonson on tour in February and March in the US. She will play the Club Café in Pittsburgh on Feb 22nd or Le Poisson Rouge in New York on March 3rd, for example.