An Audio Delight, March 4, 2012
Glen Olson, Corvallis, OR
First... I must say, Margie has a great voice for jazz standards, lively, nuanced and alluring.
Second... she avoided pulling out the same jazz standards that I have replicated on so many of my jazz albums.
She even did a wonderful job with "Don't Go To Strangers", a wonderful hit made popular by Hadda Brooks.
Third... her backup musicians stand well on their own and as well as really complimenting her style.
I'm not a music reviewer but I do know what I like. This album is a winner!Bill Yarbor, Haubstadt, IN
It is pure joy to listen to someone who is a great singer and at the same time someone who has such passion for the music and the singing experience.
This is a studio recording yet Margie has managed to convey the feel of an intimate jazz club experience.
That is another element that adds to the pure joy of this wonderful singer and this cd.
I long for the day when circumstances enable me to travel cross country to see her perform in one of those clubs.
There are no throw away or filler tracks on this cd. As long as Margie keeps singing the future of this great American form will be in good hands.
She is more than capable...I think she's fantastic.
Album review – Margie Nelson: Hungry Girl
Time for Margie Nelson to set her sights further afield
There’s a lot of competition out there when it comes to albums based on the American standards.
But still they keep on coming, filling your CD shelves and playlists until you’re awash in a hundred interpretations of “Fly Me to the Moon” or “Cry Me a River”.
Some of them are very good, of course.
But every so often, one turns up and delivers something so fresh and scintillating that it knocks everything else off the player.
Hungry Girl from Californian Margie Nelson, a self-styled ‘late bloomer’ has just that effect.
Where has she been hiding, this mistress of deft phrasing, with her ear for the sardonic underbelly of a lyric,
and her ability to balance comedy with moments of unadorned melancholy?
In and around Santa Barbara for the last 15 years, according to her biographical notes, paying her dues in showcases,
workshops and jazz clubs.
It’s high time she started to set her sights further afield,
because vocalists with this kind of talent deserve a much wider audience.
Hungry Girl should help. For a start, it contains by far and away the best version – with all due respect to Ms Streisand –
I’ve ever heard of the Johnny Mandel/Alan and Marilyn Bergman classic “Where do you Start?”
All sense of melodrama is banished. Nelson picks her way with arresting honesty through the bittersweet break-up lyrics,
unravelling the bleakness as they shift from helpless uncertainty to self-realisation,
ultimately finding a nugget of comfort in acknowledging the eternal hold of the departing lover.
It becomes an epic tale, told with unflinching clarity.
She’s great with a couple of other torch numbers –
a lilting “If You Never Come to Me” and a late-night, bluesy “Don’t Go to Strangers” both stand out –
revealing the intuitive gift of the best narrative singers.
Margie Nelson sings with the Montecito Jazz Project at the Environmental Defense Center's "TGIF" Benefit in Santa Barbara
There’s a dash of Julie Wilson’s artful story-telling (“I Love the Way You’re Breaking My Heart”)
and Julie London’s laconic irony (“An Occasional Man”), as well as hints of the phrasing of the great jazz singers –
Anita O’Day (Nelson’s heroine), Carmen McRae (listen to Nelson swing on “How Come?”)
and Rosemary Clooney.
In a nod to the technique of such illustrious forebears, when she declares “I Need Ya (Like I Need a Hole in the Head)”,
not a single word of those acerbic-yet-resigned lyrics is wasted. But whatever her influences,
Nelson is very much her own mistress – assured, putting a relaxed, timeless spin on such standards as
“I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love With Me”, a swerving, slowed-down “The Best is Yet to Come”
and a nicely contemporary “Be Cool”, as well her irresistible and articulate take on the title track.
She is greatly assisted by a top-flight band that includes her producer, drummer Kevin Winard,
Christian Jacob and Quinn Johnson sharing keyboard duties, Kevin Axt on bass,
saxophonist Matt Catingub and guitarist Stephen Geyer. The arrangements simply swing out from the speakers.
CD Review: Margie Nelson - Hungry Girl
Record Label: Independent
Style: Jazz Vocals
Musicians: Margie Nelson (vocals), Quinn Johnson (piano, rhodes), Christian Jacob (piano),
Kevin Axt (bass), Matt Catingub (sax), Stephen Geyer (guitar),
Kevin Winard (drums, percussion, vocals)
Even though she is a singer with lot of experience Hungry Girl is Margie Nelson's debut album.
A singer with a sultry voice, Margie can be funny, classy and romantic.
Impossible to listen to the lyrics of the song Hungry Girl without smiling.
One line of the song says "Rachael Ray has nothing on me"
is an obvious reference to Food Network star Rachael Ray.
Margie's sweetness in "I Love the Way You're Breaking My Heart,"
is an example of her romantic side.
And her Latin side can be heard in the song, "An Occasional Man",
with flavors of the Caribbean and the Rhodes giving the music a 70's feel.
Always good to hear a Jobim song, this time "If You Never Come To Me",
the English version of "Inutil Paissagem."
Margie is wonderful singing ballads like Where Do You Start?"
and "Don't Go To Strangers", on this last one
Matt Catingub on sax helps in creating the romantic feeling
with a good Lester young like solo.
Margie enjoys singing lyrics with a sense of humor like
"I Need Ya (Like I Need a Hole in the Head).
The title says it all. Hungry Girl is a good debut album
full of blues, fun, romance and great music.
Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre
by Brett Leigh Dicks
Having been a staple within the local live music scene ever since graduating from music-related classes within
City College’s Continuing Education program, Margie Nelson recently ventured into the studio to record her debut album – Hungry Girl.
Nelson had played just about everything musical setting Santa Barbara has to offer, so it seemed only fitting that
accompanying her upon her sultry and smoky recorded exploration of some ‘not so standard’ jazz-infused musical offerings
should a selection of musicians as honed as she. Kevin Axt of the Tierney Sutton Band,
Quinn Johnson (Steve Tyrell’s musical director and Kevin Winard from Tyrell’s touring band,
and Grammy winning arranger and conductor of the soundtrack album of the film Goodnight and Good Luck, Matt Catingub,
were but a few of the luminaries that joined Nelson in the studio.
And not only has the recorded results exceeded her expectations, so too has the response.
For as well as finding a home on local airways, Nelson’s music is currently sojourning its way around the globe.
From Australia to France, Hungry Girl is leaving listeners hungry for more.
Prior to sharing a little of the album’s musical magic at the Lobby Lounge at the Bacara Resort and Spa on Friday February 11th,
Nelson enlightens us into the path that lead that has lead her to the release.
You have just released your debut recording – Hungry Girl – but you have been playing around town for quite some time now.
How different was it venturing into the studio to perform?
I took a little different approach actually. Instead of doing the same old standards,
I picked some songs that not many people would have heard of before.
I guess that could have been quite risky because everybody knows and loves the standards,
but it seems to have worked out quite well because when people hear these songs they ask if I wrote them!
They are a lot of the songs I hadn’t really performed live before recording them.
But, yes, it has seemed to work have worked out just fine given the reaction to the record.
It is an independently released album, but I have noticed that you are picking up a lot of airplay from all across the world.
Not only is that a great achievement, it must also be very satisfying …
I used a distribution service in Canada that exposes your CD to DJs and journalists all over the world.
They listen to it online and can then request actual CDs from you.
I think Australia has asked for more CDs than any other country.
There was actually a lot of Australians from all over the place asking for CDs.
It is a great way to do it because, when they do ask for a CD, they write the nicest letters!
Someone in France is playing it on their show too.
I listened to an archive of the show and they were playing all this avante-guard stuff and, toward the end of the show,
I heard my name mentioned and he started playing my song. That was really great because he was playing a lot of really cool stuff.
Talk me through the musical evolution that has led up to this release …
I was a very late bloomer with singing. I would credit City Colleague’s adult education program for everything.
When I got to Santa Barbara the early nineties I immediately wanted to fit in here and they had all these performance classes, so I started there.
Great things were going on then. There were a lot of great classes being offered and some very talented people were taking them.
So I came in at the right time because I met all these people that helped me get away from the stage fright I had.
I had been in Los Angeles for twenty years, but I wasn’t really doing music.
I was working in journalism, I was writing for a newspaper,
and I also did a little bit of acting and a little bit of music, but not really all that much because of stage fright.
How did those courses then introduce you to the local scene?
Well, the adult education classes not only helped me overcome the stage fright,
but there were these wonderful ladies that were just so supportive and encouraging.
You were supposed to have performance experience for the classes because they didn’t want beginners,
but of course you can’t really bar anyone, so all kinds of people would show up.
But there was a lot of talent there and in the time I was there I met the band-mates of the first band I was in –
The Swizzle Sisters. We started out doing bluegrass and somehow turned into doing Sixties girl-group stuff like The Supremes
because there were three of us so we could do harmonies.
So I went from being someone who didn’t know their way around anything musically to doing three-part harmonies.
That was quite amazing. We were together for seven years.
Seven years is a very impressive legacy – especially here …
We performed all over the place and had a pretty good run. We never completed an album or anything, but we were always trying to!
Donna Greene was in the group.
She is in Donna Greene and the Roadhouse Daddies right now and her partner, Greg Loeb, did a lot of the songwriting.
We graduated from covers and through him introduced originals into the group.
How did jazz then consume your musical musing?
We did a little jazz in the Swizzle Sisters and, when I left the group, I found it was a very good fit.
Jazz doesn’t have an expiration date.
It is something you can always do – when you are eighty years old you can still be singing jazz. It’s timeless.
What is the reality of the jazz scene here in Santa Barbara?
The Lobero Theatre was recently named as one of the best places to see listen to jazz in the world.
How much of a scene is there in town to support that?
Well, there were quite a few more jazz clubs when I first came to town then there are now.
There’s been lots of places that have come and gone. There was Andrea’s Harborside and Ruby’s did some jazz for a while.
And then there was the Four Winds and the series at the courthouse that came and went.
So it is not very strong right now when it comes to venues, but there is the Santa Barbara Jazz Society.
There is of course SOhO as well as so many great musicians here in town.
You have been playing at State and A have you not?
Oh yes. I have been working there with a group called the Montecito Jazz Project and they also came out of Adult Education program.
Debbie Denke and Kim Collins and those very talented people are all great teachers and amazing supporters of jazz and teaching in the schools.
So there is a very vibrant jazz scene – it’s just maybe not so much in the clubs right now.
You play a range of local venues – from Creekside Inn to the Chumash Casino to the Bacara –
what are some of your favorite settings in which to play?
Well there is the Vineyard House in Santa Ynez. They have the “Jazz Under the Stars” series
and that’s been going during the summer for fifteen years now. I have played that series for two years now and last summer I did four or five shows.
That is a really fun place as they have just jazz in a really nice setting with a great crowd. It is one of my favorite places.
If you like jazz, then“Hungry Girl” is a great listen. Margie’s vocals are incredible!
Rich, sultry, smoky and emotive, she carries you to an entirely different era and
deposits you gently in a front row seat for an enjoyable spin.
This Santa Barbara resident could be on the verge of a wonderful jazz career
with her first release. While Margie considers herself a late bloomer,
there is no age put on music when the delivery is as strong as hers!
“I Love the Way You’re Breaking My Heart” is the second track on the disc,
and reaches deep within. The brief musical interlude showcases the musicians’ abilities,
and you’ll find your toe tapping along contentedly.
Margie’s vocals capture the longing that can be found even during a break up.
The longing for that kiss… that last bit of time together.
Knowing that heartbreak is coming, but desiring it all the same!
The introduction to “Be Cool” reminded me of music I heard when I was a little kid.
Light and yet purposeful in its “stride,” this track deals with the downside of life. Instead of letting it get to you – just “Be Cool!”
Margie’s vocals verge on haunting in places on this track. It’s surprisingly upbeat and fun!
Perhaps the most memorable track on this disc is a wonderful rendition of “Don’t go to Strangers.”
Margie’s vocals twine and dance with Matt Catingub’s tenor sax, leaving you aching for more.
Jazz in all its beauty, as it carries you aloft on each heartfelt note.
Margie Nelson is worth more than one spin on the player!
If you enjoy jazz vocals, then this “Hungry Girl” had better be on your playlist!
I look forward to the next release by this vocal diva.
APT = 49:22
I Love the Way You’re Breaking My Heart
An Occasional Man
If You Never Come to Me
Ain’t Nobody’s Business but My Own
Don’t go to Strangers
I Need Ya (Like I Need a Hole in My Head)
I Can’t Believe that You are in Love with Me
Where do You Start?
The Best is Yet to Come
Christian Jacob – Piano, accompanying vocals
Kevin Axt – Bass
Quinn Johnson – Piano
Kevin Winard – Drums
Matt Catingub – Saxophone, accompanying vocals
Steven Greyer – GuitaristArticle by: Naomi De Bruyn posted:01 Jul 2011
What the DJ's Are Saying:
Larry Murry, Host, "Overnight Jazz", KSDS Jazz88, San Diego, CA: "I am often disappointed when
new vocals come in because so many are so lacking in talent or should be singing C&W;
however I do set a high bar.
One of my favs is Shirley Horn's, "Where Do You Start," so I didn't expect you would hold up,
but you did great job.
The other tune I aired was "The Best Is Yet To Come," great arrangement by the way.
Thanks for giving your talents to jazz."
KCLU FM, 88.3 Ventura, 102.3 Santa Barbara, CA:
Jazz Latino Radio Show, Raul Rico, Host
WRHU FM 88.7 FM NYC:
Jazz Cafe, Bob Collins, Host
KCSB FM, 91.9 FM, Santa Barbara, CA:
Roadtunes, Andy Doerr, Host
Radio Campus Lille, Lille, France:
Jazz a' l'ame, Claude Colpaert, Host
Jazz and Bossa Internet Radio, Puerto Rico:
Jazz and Bossa Show, Wilbert Sostre, Host
PBS FM, 106.7, Melbourne, Australia:
Jazz Beat, Tom Sedunary, Host
PBS FM, 106.7, Melbourne, Australia:
Jazz on Saturday, David Shields, Host
Jazz Syndicate, Real Love Radio, UK:
Jazz: A Love Affair, 65, Part I, Ray Porter, Host
Mirando al Sur Radio, Live 365 Internet Radio Network:
Marcello Pedrolo, Host
The Penthouse Radio, NY, NY:
Bob Perry, Host
Red Hot Blues, Radio Vilafant, 107.3 FM, Spain
Josep Palmada, Host
Jazz Club UIS Estereo - 96.9 FM Bucaramanga, Colombia
Carlos Mantilla, Host
A Voice, A Soul, Anima Jazz, Pisa, Italy
Bruno Pollacci, Host
Jazz Spaces, Tuesdays 10PM-2AM 94.1 FM Radio 2 Skopje, Macedonia
Vasja Ivanovski, Producer, Host
It's Just Jazz, Mondays 3-5 pm, KZFR 90.1 FM, Chico, CA
Steve Scarborough, Host
Overnight Jazz, 2-6 am, KSDS 88.3 FM San Diego, CA
Larry Murry, Host
Night Music, KSKA, 91.1 Public Radio, Anchorage, AK
Kurt Waldhaus, Host
Highway 61, Radio Voce Spazio, 93.8, FM, Alessandria, Italy
Massimo Ferro, Host
Jazz Straight Ahead, KCSB, 91.9 FM, Santa Barbara, CA
Stanley Naftaly, Host
Raizes, KBCS, 91.3, Bellevue, WA
Samia Panni, Host
Nostalgia Radio Time, 1420 AM, The Breeze, Sheboygan, WI
Greg Van Beek, Host
Sybil Gage's Stormy Monday Radio Show, WMEL 1300, Cocoa, FL
Sybil Gage, Host
Seems Like Old Times, Syndicated, Various
Craig Orndorff, Host