Kat Edmonson, Way Down Low

Dan Ouellette

By Dan Ouellette

on 04.12.12 in Reviews

Way Down Low

Kat Edmonson
Rising to the top tier of aspiring young singers

With her sophomore album, Way Down Low, captivating jazz chanteuse Kat Edmonson, who has hints of Billie Holiday and Blossom Dearie in her voice, rises to the top tier of aspiring young singers. The Austin- and Brooklyn-based Edmonson, an American Idol finals reject (Season 2), tantalizes on this 12-track collection, particularly on the old-timey country duet she sings with Lyle Lovett, “Long Way Home,” one of her fine originals. Beyond that marquee tune, Edmonson, who sings with a shy fragility and relaxed poise, covers lots of stylistic territory; there’s the sweet, lilting opener “Lucky,” the sunny samba “What Else Can I Do,” the cutesy and witty waltz “I’m Not in Love” and the flirty, straight-ahead jazz tune “Champagne,” with a Monkish beginning. There’s also a somber take on Brian Wilson’s “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” (with a stellar trombone and French horn arrangement by saxophonist John Ellis) and Sonny Terry’s “I Don’t Know,” which Edmonson sings twice: a midtempo rendition with an acoustic guitar opening reminiscent of George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord,” and a creeping slow, intimate interpretation that pleasingly closes the album.