Donald Clarke, the doyen amongst compilers of contemporary reference works devoted to music, maintains that "popular music has always been a great mainstream with many tributaries". Cate Shaw would probably agree with this statement and add a rider to the effect that the best popular music never dates. In her case there is as timeless quality to the tunes she choose to sing and it is often intriguing to trace the history of her choices
Everybody's Talking is a song known to innumerable singers and listeners alike. It dates back to 1969 when (Harry) Nilsson sang it on the soundtrack of the film "Midnight Cowboy" My Baby Just Cares For Me goes back to 1930 when Eddie Cantor introduced it in the film "Whoopee". More than 30 years later tenor saxist Stan Getz was introduced to the music of Brazil where the bossa nove (literally "new flair") was gaining popularity. There were many very accomplished Brazilian guitarists and song-writers including Antonio Carlos Jobim who wrote the lovely Girl From Ipanema (Cate, like many lady singers of this song, understandably alters the gender).
Listening to Cate performing to an appreciative audience at a venue such as the Brisbane Jazz Club is a pleasing and memorable occasion. Her diction is clear, her pitching flawless. She has all the attributes necessary for a quality singer while her choice of songs is always fascinating. Fittingly her latest album was actually recorded at the Brisbane Jazz Club with its memorable view of the Brisbane River. It was, as Cate sings 'So Nice'.
Alun Morgan (Jazz Journal, UK)
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