“AN OLD SOUL” — Sultry, Savvy Soul Straight Out of Yale
Not every neo jazz artist can pull off yet another remix of the American songbook. But Kat Webb doesn’t miss a beat with “An Old Soul”, her solo debut album that spins sultry soul through beloved standards that include “Fever”, “Blackbird” and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”.
Like so many American vocalists, Webb, 26, gave her first solo performance in a Baptist church – in her hometown of Austin, Texas.
“Back then, I didn’t even know I wanted to be a singer. I just knew I loved singing along to Brandy in my bedroom and listening to Aretha Franklin’s greatest hits on long road trips,” Webb says.
When her vocal talent became clear Webb’s parents, both successful attorneys, provided her with private voice lessons. She also studied classically at McCallum Fine Arts Academy in Austin before entering Yale University, where she studied at Yale School of Music.
While at Yale, Webb directed and performed internationally with its premier a cappella choir, Shades (yale.edu/shades). She also was a featured performer with the Yale Jazz Ensemble. After graduation she moved to New York – where Brooklyn is now her home – earned moderate recognition as a screenwriter and worked as an assistant talent agent for Innovative Artists.
“Everything was as it should be. But I missed my first passion, music,” Webb says.
So she began songwriting, worked as an audio engineer and sang backup for a few years before deciding to take the leap to produce her first album as a solo artist.
The result is an eclectic, musically savvy offering with poignant cross generational appeal. A self-defined “quasi-Hippie”, Webb’s vocals reflect her own oxymoronic tag. The balanced samplings of “An Old Soul” are at once artistically untainted and professionally polished.
“An Old Soul” is exactly what I am. Contemporary and yet firmly rooted in a musical upbringing that includes Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Aretha Franklin and other greats.”