AN OPEN LOVE LETTER TO MADY KAYE
That’s right. This broad has it all.
Lest you have any doubts, I can dispel them instantly. Just click on the AJW Featured Track to the right. Go ahead and do it now, I’ll wait.
dum da dum dum dum deedle dee…
Did you do it? Good! Now you’re listening to Mady Kaye singing Cole Porter’s “Night and Day”, as featured vocalist on our 2003 Anything Goes release. The other musicians are myself on tenor sax, Pat Murray on trumpet, Luis Guerra on bass, Ernie Durawa on drums, and the late Marty Allen on piano.
Listen to how Mady lifts every note in the introduction with her impeccable pitch and sense of time. Listen to how she relaxes into the rhythm section when the piano enters. Basically, listen to how she just nails it.
Now consider that this is a live recording, without the imposition of studio tricks like auto-tuning or Pro Tools to correct sloppy pitch and time. Mady is giving us the real deal here.
Mady has been nailing it for nigh on thirty years, ever since she was <negative 5> years old. (The preceding was an example of ‘compassionate math’). Now we can begin to appreciate what a treasure we have in our midst.
Of course, if she had stopped at just being a great singer, dayenu. (Look it up.) But in addition to her considerable vocal skill, Mady knows how to lead bands and how to market herself–two skills that every musician needs in order to make it in this competitive business.
She organized The Beat Divas, a vocal trio originally consisting of herself, Beth Ullman, and Suzi Stern. She held it together through a personnel change when Suzi left and Dianne Donovan joined the group. She commissioned great arrangers to produce great arrangements, then rehearsed them into polished gems. You can hear all this on their 2002 Live at Reid’s release.
When the gigs started to thin out, as they invariably do after a splashy debut, she found a new way to market the group. What would happen if these three ladies combined their love for singing with their love for cooking and their love for standing around blabbing in the kitchen? Put a collaborator like Central Market in the mix, and voila! You’re Cookin’ with the Divas!
Which led to an enormously popular series of cooking classes, an appearance at a major food convention, a new CD of food-related songs (Dishin’ With The Divas, natch), a recent mention in the New York Times, and where will it all lead? Heaven knows. Anything goes!
And unlike some in this industry (no names, please), Mady is wonderfully generous. (We considered calling her Magnanimous Mady Kaye, but deemed it too front-loaded.) She has a great website and the first link on it brings you back here. When I attended the Diva’s recent CD release at the Central Market, she acknowledged me from the stage and then gave a lengthy plug to the AJW project. And she and the other Divas have graciously agreed to perform at our annual fundraiser on September 25th. What a mensch she is!
So if you have an opportunity to catch Mady and/or The Beat Divas in action, seize it! This you do not get every day. This you should not miss.