Chanteuse Kim Maguire has been privileged to perform on some pretty amazing stages, including the Houston Grand Opera, and Theatre Under the Stars in Houston, Fifth Ave. Theatre and Benaroya Hall in Seattle. She’s had solo and duet shows at Egan’s in Ballard, and has also been a mainstay in their annual March is Cabaret festivities. She’s sung everything from classical to heavy blues to jazz to musical comedy, and is a noted vocal coach as well.
Maguire’s new album, A Night in June, is the perfect thirst quencher for these first hot nights of summer. Its 15 tracks contain some of the finest work I have heard her do, drawn largely from the Great American Songbook.
The playlist kicks off with a Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn classic I Fall in Love Too Easily. This Sinatra cover starts out swinging, then modulates to a more tender melancholy take which is just sumptuous. Maguire gets a bit sultry on Ain’t I Good to You by Andy Razal and Don Redman, then switches to unabashed joyousness on I Got the World on A String, and Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser’s Small Fry. She waxes warmly and with a shade of bluesy regret on the underrated Rodgers and Hart classic It Never Entered My Mind and successfully gender-flips the Lerner and Loewe ballad to I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face. She deliciously swings another turnabout, making Rodgers and Hart’s Have You Met Miss Jones into Sir Jones even though the title doesn’t transfer as naturally. And if you are a big Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen fan you will go gaga over Maguire’s endearing It’s Always You.
My favorite track was a song unknown to me, A Little Boy, A Little Girl, A Little Moon a performance of perfectly calibrated delicacy and warmth of a great piece by Robert King and Harry Warren. Over the Rainbow is a simple, no frills, personalization of a great song, in a vein honoring yet differing from Judy’s. Maguire’s bonus track, her self-written If I Were to See You Again ventures into near Randy Newman territory, and her vocal style here is more robust and hearty. The track doesn’t fit smoothly in with her other selections but is well-done and made me want to hear her do more songs in this vein, like say the Academy Award nominated Over You from the Film Tender Mercies.
The album is well produced, aurally entrancing and features wonderful pianist Mark Rabe accompanying on several tracks, with other fine musicians such as Milo Peterson (guitar) and Jake Seles (pianist) as well as Maguire accompanying herself on A Little Boy, A Little Girl, A Little Moon. This is an album for lovers, and for lovers of great vintage American music.
To buy the album, hear vocal samples and for info on Kim’s other efforts visit kimmaguirejazz.com