For Cathy Segal-Garcia, a love for music in general and jazz in particular comes from afar. His father was a saxophonist and he loved jazz. Since she was 4 years old, she had taken her to big band rehearsals. She sang with her twin sisters for years. After high school, he went to Berklee College of Music, which at the time did not have a voice, so he played the flute and studied arrangement and composition.
Artists like The Beatles, Cream, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendricks, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Weather Report, Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, John Coltrane penetrated his artist soul.
His most recent album, "Social Anthems, Volume 1", is his fourteenth CD as a leader. He has been recording albums steadily for almost 30 years, but the pace of his production has accelerated in recent years with the help of his friend, Dan Davilla, who co-produces this album with Segal-Garc'a.
Segal-Garc'a always surrounds himself with first-rate musicians. This time he works with some mainstays of the Southern California jazz scene. Guitarist Anthony Wilson (Diana Krall). The pianist, composer and conductor, Josh Nelson (Kurt Elling, John Pizzarelli, Benny Golson, Sheila Jordan, John Clayton). Bassist Edwin Livingston (Elvin Jones, David "Fathead" Newman, John Beasley, Justin Timberlake, Will.I.Am, Mary J Blige). Drummer Lorca Hart (Bobby Hutcherson, Carmen Lundy, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Jordan). And vocalists Mon David and Paul Jost.
The songs that make up the album do not belong to the jazz genre, but thanks to the arrangements by Wilson and Nelson, the interpretation of Segal-Garc'a and the entire group, they adapt to jazz admirably.
Segal-Garcia stated: "I have been experiencing feelings of discomfort and anguish for quite some time. And most of my friends have said the same thing. People fear for the future. I chose the songs on this album because I felt that they are timely and speak of those feelings. "
The album begins with Stephen Stills' song "For What It's Worth", an icon of social protest from the 60s. Very good arrangements by Wilson, which give this song a peculiar jazzy touch.
"What Are We Going to Do" is a ballad written by Segal-Garc'a and arranged by Nelson. Segal-Garc'a says, "Life doesn't come with a user manual, and I wrote this song on the way to a friend for whom I felt guilty." Theme with country touches.
We continue with "And So It Goes" by Billy Joel and arranged by Wilson. Segal-Garc'a has great admiration for Paul Jost and wanted to include him on the album. She sent him the recording and was pleasantly surprised with his contribution. Segal-Garcia brings his contrasting sensibilities, but they are complemented at the same time, by Jost's whispering and hoarse recitation. A beautiful song with a country-folk flavor.
"Down to Earth", by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, from the movie Wall-e, is arranged by Nelson. Again the sensitive voice of Segal-Garcia is faithfully accompanied by the rest of the group.
The fifth cut of the album consists of two songs, "Get Together" by Chet Powers, a song that talks about the power of love and "Can't Find My Way Home" by Steve Winwood and immortalized by the group Blind Faith (Eric Clapton , Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood, Ric Grech) which is about Winwood's close friend struggling with alcohol and drug addiction.
Nelson arranged the combination of both songs from the 60s, dedicating, of the seven and a half minutes, more than five minutes to the first theme. Good entry from Wilson on guitar. Very good version of both songs.
The record ends with "Save the Children," from Marvin Gaye's 1971 album, "What's Going On." This time arranged by Wilson. Mon David accompanies Segal-Garc'a, forming an excellent duo between them. Precious song that pleads to save our world for our children. A moving version that chills our hearts for nine minutes.
Segal-Garcia transmits emotions with great ease. His warm voice suggests feelings that make us meditate.
As she herself says: "singers are responsible for things like emotions, ideas, concepts, hopes, horrors and the more honestly we do it, the greater the effect. We are capable of changing the people who listen to us ".
The album becomes short and we are left wanting more songs, hoping that "Social Anthems Volume 2" will be released soon.