This is Cathy Segal-Garcia’s 14th album and comes more than three decades since her debut, Point Of View. In those years, she has performed and taught extensively, mostly in and around Los Angeles.
In common with musicians everywhere, she has been affected by events nationally and internationally in the past two years and this is demonstrated here. That said, her chosen repertoire draws upon earlier troubled times, the 1960s and 1970s, in which songwriters sought to deliver uplifting and encouraging messages. Among these songwriters are Stephen Stills (For What It’s Worth), Billy Joel (And So It Goes), Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman (Down To Earth). Also displayed here, with What Are We Gonna Do, are Segal-Garcia’s own songwriting skills.
Her vocal sound is warm and confident as she explores the depths of meaning in the lyrics she interprets. Although the source of the material is outside jazz, Segal-Garcia’s style brings the songs into the fold. The singer’s accompanying quartet includes pianist Josh Nelson and guitarist Anthony Wilson, both of whom provide three arrangements and take fluent solos. Rounding out the group with strong support are bassist Edwin Livingston and drummer Lorca Hart.
Also on hand, for one song each, are Paul Jost, who raspily recites words on And So It Goes, and Mon David, who sings on Save The Children. This last song harks back to its appearance a half century ago on a Marvin Gaye album. Given what has happened in the world in the few months since the release of Social Anthems, it is all too uncomfortably relevant today. Moving and inspiring songs that are not just for these troubled times.
For What It’s Worth; What Are We Gonna Do; And So It Goes; Down To Earth; Get Together/Can’t Find My Way Home; Save The Children (39.30)
Segal-Garcia (v); Josh Nelson (p, kyb); Anthony Wilson (g); Edwin Livingston (b); Lorca Hart (d); Paul Jost (v, hca, on And So It Goes); Mon David (v, on Save The Children). Los Angeles, 6-8 August 2019, 20 & 24 May 2021, 8 & 9 June 2021.