Mara Kaye is a Brooklyn-born singer of jazz and blues, who I wrote about back in August. She is channeling old-time jazz and blues through her own considerable talents, and making some of this great old music fresh again.
That’s her at right, with gifted pianist Carl Sonny Leyland, on the cover of an upcoming album, featuring a remake of the classic “It Had To Be You” as its title song.
Mara has been kind enough to send along two more singles from that album for our listening pleasure.
The first is “Black Sheep Blues” originally recorded in 1935 by a piano player and singer known as Pigmeat Terry, whose real name may have been Terrio. I found some discussion online about whether Terrio was a man or a woman, but most accounts seem to agree that she was a woman. She was one of those artists who recrded very little, and about whom very little is known. Except that she created the haunting sound of this song. Mara Kaye is accompanied by Leyland on piano, ‘Big’ Jon Atkinson on guitar, and Randy Ball on upright bass, all recorded live and straight-to-tape at Bigtone Records.
Play it here:
The other track, “Dystopian Blues,” due for release Oct. 8, is an original written by Alfred Howard, Tim McNalley and Mara Kaye. The backers here are Leyland on the piano, Tim McNalley on guitar, ‘Big’ Jon Atkinson on upright bass.
Play it here:
S, in addition to breathing new life into old music, Ms Kaye is creating new music in the same spirit. Simply great stuff.
Here’s an audio recording of “Black Sheep Blues” by Pigmeat Terry:
And just for more fun, here’s Mara Kaye with some old-timey acoustic accompaniment from 2019: