From the percussion and bass reed version of the Monk/Ferro song "It’s Over Now (Well, You Needn’t)" and her groove enriched version of the Rogers and Hammerstein classic "My Favorite Things," to the her sultry delivery of the Arnold/Walter classic "You Don’t Know Me," San Francisco jazz scene favorite Karen Blixt delivers a delightfully entertaining and powerful piece of work with her debut CD Spin This.
Together with producer Frank Martin and a who’s who cast of musicians, Spin This brings new life to ten contemporary and classic standards and she emerges as a talented songwriter in the three Martin-Blixt originals: "Spin This," "Kitchen Blues" (where she at times reminds me of Laura Fygi) and the closing track "Something So True." Karen effortlessly changes moods and direction, nowhere better demonstrated than on the Cole Porter classic "Night and Day" - consistently maintaining a distinct sound signature all her own.
Growing up in upstate New York singing church hymns, Karen says, "I grew up in a world of black and white," and "always singing off the melody." She gravitated to the way jazz "thrives in the unsettled way where asking the question is more important than being certain of the answer." It is in this gray area of taking risk, not knowing if she is right or wrong that both she and her music live. "With jazz, it’s not about you deciding how to perform the song, it’s about the song finding its own life through you," she says.Karen settled in northern California and has been a staple in the Bay Area jazz scene for ten years. She has performed with Bobby McFerrin on his score for the Academy Award-winning film "Common Threads" and she is now a star whose time has arrived. Spin This is her calling card.