Cuto CUTO 001 (www.kateschutt.com)
Kate Schutt came out with a very accomplished debut CD “No Love Lost” in 2007, which was especially impressive for a young artist with no label backing. She has built on that artistic success and reached further into her considerable creative storehouse for “Telephone Game”. Subtle and stylish, the record is not easily categorized, but leans to pop, soul and jazz, with a full roster of skilled instrumentalists (most notably Teri Lyne Carrington on drums) adding variety and depth. Schutt wrote all of the songs and the one that’ll have you reaching for the replay button is Open Window, with its sweet story of young love and Gregoire Maret’s epic harmonica playing.
Her strong resemblance to Rickie Lee Jones, both in singing style and lyric writing – at once gritty and vulnerable - can’t be ignored. Still, Schutt is carving her own path and although she draws on a few genres, she has a distinctive voice that asserts itself throughout the work. The only minor flaw with the record is that the arrangements are a bit inconsistent. On the one hand, horns add gutsy heft to Take Me With You and strings give a clever nod to the disco era on Fake ID, however on Take Everything and Blackout some of the background vocals sound disjointed and out of place. But it’s a minor distraction from what is otherwise a great record from a gifted musician and songwriter.