To prepare for Girl Talk, a collection of loving homages to her role models, rather than listen to Sheila Jordan, Betty Carter, Nina Simone and others sing, Kate McGarry sought out interviews with them, drawing inspiration from their tales of courage and fortitude amid countless professional hardships. The resultant tracks aren’t specifically honorific-there’s no “Here’s to Life” for Shirley Horn or “Throw It Away” for Abbey Lincoln. Instead, these 10 standards serve as bridges, connecting the legacy of her predecessors to McGarry’s contemporary style and perspective. Hence her inclusion of the Neal Hefti title track, hardly the most progressive of lyrics, here wrenched (albeit gently) from its patronizing moors and recalibrated as a celebration of shared female views.
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