2008 BackStage Magazine Bistro Award
THE BMI AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING RECORDING
2008 Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs
BEST FEMALE JAZZ VOCALIST & BEST JAZZ RECORDING Nominee
2007 Cabaret Hotline Online
MEMBERS' CHOICE AWARD FOR RECORDING
Linda Kosut, "a jazz troubadour with a Chet Baker style and a Bette Midler flare," seamlessly weaves differing genres into a delightful fusion of jazz, pop & folk.
Award-winning vocalist Linda Kosut blends cabaret and jazz styles into sparkling and exciting renditions of songs of differing genres. Don Heckman, International Review of Music and jazz critic to the Los Angeles Times says of Linda “ [this] amazing Bay Area canary brings her skills as an actress to her insightful interpretations of songs underscored with a fusion of jazz, pop and folk.” Linda has performed to full houses at New York’s Iridium Jazz Club to San Francisco’s Yoshi’s and The Rrazz Room.
Growing up in New York City and transplanted to San Francisco over 20 years ago, Linda only began pursuing her dream of performing several years ago as she approached “boomer” status, and she has not stopped since. “I am sure that I am not alone in my journey to satisfy a creative bug I’ve had my whole life; but one that up until nearing ‘retirement’ status, I did not pursue,” says Linda. “The joy I have in performing translates to my audience who tell me how I have inspired them. It is my sheer pleasure to do so.”
Linda has recorded two solo CDs, the most-recent of which Long As You’re Living, the songs & poetry of Oscar Brown Jr - – a heartfelt tribute to the late jazz great - received BackStage Magazine’s 2008 BISTRO/BMI AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING RECORDING, as well as nominations for BEST FEMALE JAZZ VOCALIST and BEST JAZZ RECORDING from MAC, Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs, and the Cabaret Hotline 2008 MEMBERS’ CHOICE AWARD.
Through her company, Jizel Music and Design, Linda provides coaching to singers in both presentation and production, and designs marketing collateral for performers and performing arts organizations. http://www.jizelmusicanddesign.com
Linda lives in San Francisco with her husband, 2 dogs, 2 turtles, 4 chickens and thousands of fresh-water fish!
Jazz Review - “A singer of great ability – conveys romance combined with an earthy heat!”
LA Jazz Scene - "... a new female jazz singer who commands one’s attention ... a vocal performance which deserves mention
Jazz Times – “the best of such artists renowned for their superior ability to act, particularly one as gutsy as Kosut”
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ON THE INTERNET
JUNE 2007: "Long As You're Living- the songs & poetry of Oscar Brown Jr.” - www.cdbaby.com/kosut2
Piano/trombone: Max Perkoff; Percussion: Paul van Wageningen; Bass: Tom Shader.
JANUARY 2003: "Life is but a dream" - www.cdbaby.com/kosut
piano: Barry Lloyd, David Austin; Bass: Dean Reilly; Drums: Bob Blankenship.
SEPTEMBER 2003: “Dining at The Banquet” with The Kitchenettes trio. - www.cdbaby.com/kitchenettes
Piano: Barry Lloyd; Bass: Mike Bacile; Percussion: Ron Marabuto.
Linda Kosut, vocalist, performs with solo piano or trio or larger band. Among the outstanding musicians who play in her band across the country are Max Perkoff, piano & trombone; Ken Muir, piano; Barry Lloyd, piano. On bass, Tom Shader, Daniel Fabricant, Fred Randolph, Tim Emmons, Tim Ferguson, Stewart Miller, Tom Hubbard; on percussion, Paul van Wageningen, John Mader, Jack LeCompte, Frank Parker Jr., David Rokeach, Scott Latzky. And saxophone, Fil Lorenz, "Sweet" Sue Terry
RELEASE DATE - JUNE 1 2007: "Long As You're Living" the songs & poetry of Oscar Brown Jr. with Max Perkoff, piano/trombone; Paul van Wageningen, percussion; Tom Shader, bass, Listen to tracks on her website www.lindakosut.com/music.htm and at www.cdbaby.com/kosut2
BACKSTAGE MAGAZINE'S 2008 BISTRO AWARD WINNER FOR OUTSTANDING RECORDING.
1. A Tree and Me
2. Mr. Kicks
3. Hazel's Hips
4. Summer In The City
5. A Column of Birds
6. 'Round Midnight & The Beach
7. Brother, Where Are You?
8. Bid 'Em In
9. The Call of the City
10. The Snake
11. Old Lovers' Song
12. Humdrum Blues
13. Tower of Time
14. Long As You're Living
The extent of the Oscar Brown Jr. catalog of music is practically unknown today. Some of the songs on this CD are classic OBJ, while others, relatively unknown. Linda has taken this music - considered jazz and even folk or theater - and made it universal in its appeal with earnestness, and of course, her voice - a smoky plaintiveness that is both silky & sensuous, lending the right mood to the music of this great jazz legend.
RELEASE DATE, SEPTEMBER 2003: "Life is but a dream" - piano: Barry Lloyd, David Austin; Bass: Dean Reilly; Drums: Bob Blankenship. Listen to tracks at her website at www.lindakosut.com/music.html or www.cdbaby.com/cd/kosut:
SELECTED AS ONE OF THE TOP CABARET CDs of 2003 - "Linda Kosut's LIFE IS BUT A DREAM - the lady is incredible, the CD a gem!" --- Cabaret Hotline
1. I Think It's Going To Rain Today
2. Walking in Memphis
3. Peel Me A Grape
5. Teach Me Tonight
6. Come To My House
7. My Romance
8. If I Were A Bell
9. What You'd Call A Dream
10. Dat Dere
11. Factory/The Mason
12. Boats Against The Current
The common thread in this collection of songs from folk-rock to jazz standards, from Randy Newman to Dave Frishberg to Rogers & Hart, is Linda's styling, phrasing and emotional connection to the lyrics. A pleasurable and listenable CD. Tracks of this CD have been played nationally on jazz stations.
"The CD is simply exquisite! Everything about it: vocals, arrangements, and variety. I really can't say enough. I wonder if Oscar [Brown Jr.] ever got a chance to hear your Dat Dere. I'm sure he would have been delighted. Your album is a breath of fresh air from San Francisco!" - Norman Curtis, New York-based BMI songwriter and composer; Oscar Brown Jr.’s music collaborator; pianist/composer.
* Dining at The Banquet with The Kitchenettes girl trio
* Lo Shomano, Italian National Comic Song Festival compilation CD
2008 Bistro Award for Outstanding Recording
Linda is the 2008 recipient of BackStage Magazine's Bistro Award for Outstanding Recording.
LA TIMES - Finds her groove ... hits all the right notes
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OSCAR BROWN JR. was an authentic American original, a 20th century Whitmanesque voice of insight, re...OSCAR BROWN JR. was an authentic American original, a 20th century Whitmanesque voice of insight, reason and imagination. Accomplished as a songwriter, performer, playwright, poet, essayist, activist and much more, he may simply have been too diverse to garner the acknowledgment that his enormous talents so clearly deserved.
Two years after his death at the age of 78, the creative legacy of this African American from Chicago is beginning to receive some attention via the efforts of an unlikely source: singer LINDA KOSUT, a self-described "white Jewish girl from the Bronx." Kosut has released "Long as You're Living," a recording of Brown's songs and poetry, and her nightclub show tribute bearing the same title has been performed in venues around the country for the last year.
On Tuesday, "Long As You're Living" made it to the Jazz Bakery for a one-night presentation. IT DESERVED A FAR LONGER RUN.
Kosut is correct to note the differences between her background and Brown's. But it was precisely those differences that underscored the universality of Brown's art as well as the versatility Kosut brought to her interpretations. Wisely, she never attempted to sing the Brown songs in any style other than her own, with its warm, dark sound and articulate, theatrically trained phrasing.
Her rendering of Brown's lyrics for Thelonious Monk's " 'Round Midnight," for example, blended late-night storytelling with the life-defining metaphors of his poem "This Beach." A seemingly unlikely combination, it was, instead, an illuminating view into the complex byways of Brown's imagination.
Other songs -- "Mr. Kicks," "A Dime Away From a Hot Dog" and "Long as You're Living" -- displayed Brown's extraordinary capacity to combine multilayered insights with engagingly communicative language.
KOSUT, accompanied by the Max Perkoff Trio, TACKLED IT ALL WITH SPLENDID RESULTS. And she was the first to acknowledge, after the set, that for all its entertaining excellence, "Long as You're Living" only opens the door to Brown's treasure trove of creative works.
Songs and Stories: Linda Kosut Live at Jazz At Pearls
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Jazz At Pearls is located in North Beach, a great San Francisco neighborhood which is a mix of curio...Jazz At Pearls is located in North Beach, a great San Francisco neighborhood which is a mix of curious tourists and colorful locals. In the 1950s it was ground zero for the (literary) beat movement and some of that bo-ho flavor remains for the younger generations to absorb. The room is small enough that there are no bad seats, but not so small as you feel depressed for the artists. Their concert schedule offers an eclectic mix of local heroes and well known names in jazz who would rather forgo the larger, less personal venues. Multi-award-winning singer Linda Kosut brought her tribute to Oscar Brown, Jr. (1926-2005), “Long As You’re Living” to Jazz at Pearls June 22 for two sets. I was there among the capacity crowd for the first set.
Linda possesses a stage presence that is naturally relaxed while also being able to convey the emotions of each song’s story. The set was made up of songs from her Oscar Brown show with which she has been touring the country, interspersed with standards that shared similar emotional cadence and feel. In between songs Linda would talk with the audience, sharing the background of a piece’s history. This never disrupted the flow of the set and never felt show-bizzy. There was an instant rapport with the audience, which lent an intimacy to the entire set.
I have seen this show in various venues and I appreciate that it is no cookie cutter affair. Every show and set is different while never losing its main theme. This time there was an expanded band, too. Still led by bandleader Max Perkoff, there was now an added multi-reedist/flautist, Fil Lorenz. I enjoyed the extra colorations that another instrument allowed for, as Fil added further depth to the pieces.
The set opened with the standard “Let’s Get Lost,” taken at a brisker pace than usual and lightly samba flavored. John Mader on drums made his brushes delicately dance across the snare while still getting a nice full sound, the piece having none of that E.Q tinkering sometimes encountered at the start of a club show. There was a nice tartly flavored sax break with a piano solo continuing the horn’s conversation. Being a leader of his own ensemble, Max knows the perfect mix of band interplay and interaction with the singer. Listening, you never feel one component of a song has gone on too long or is merely a bone thrown to the band.
“Birth Of The Blues” was a perfect counterpoint to the previous song’s cheery romanticism without bringing the audience down. It was melancholy as a thing to rejoice as it gives something whose passing can be celebrated. There was a soulful, sanctified sax solo worthy of every late night blue note.
As Linda pointed out, Oscar sometimes would add lyrics to standards of the jazz canon, not always with permission. A cover of Charlie “Bird” Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce,” complete with Oscar’s words, came next. The piece was fun and sexy, the sister to Oscar’s “Hazel’s Hips.” Max plays both trombone and piano; here he took a boppish ride on the eighty-eight keys. The cymbals sounded like rain falling upon the city of the hip while each musician got a solo statement before passing it off, radiating the fun they were having out to the crowd.
The next song featured both lyrics and music by Oscar, “Column of Birds.” Here the flute acted as the fluttering wings. Linda can use her voice as a musician, varying cadence and volume depending upon the size of the room and the emotion required. Both in lyric and delivery this song was plaintive yet hopeful. After sharing the interesting history of the lyrics for “Don’t Fence Me In,” which Cole Porter bought off Robert Fletcher, came the actual song. The vocals were answered by a stride flavored piano and sassy horn sounding like a friend with whom a playful joke is shared. The vocals were bluesy and hip and would not sound out of place in the halcyon days of cabaret in Paris or Berlin.
The Doc Pomus tune “Save the Last Dance for Me” was performed after an anecdote of the piece’s inspiration. This version differs from the more familiar R&B versions in that the poetical intent of the lyrics is more apparent. Without back-up singers echoing the song’s refrain, there was a darker strain to the song’s protagonist’s emotions.
Leaving the stage, Linda brought one of her protégées, Benn Bacot, up to sing “You Don’t Know What Love Is.” Benn has strong, natural power in his delivery. He wields a rich baritone that recalls Joe William and Johnny Hartman. In his hands the song became less a fragile lament and more a declaration of heartache and tenacity. For the entire set there was great interplay among the band and with this different vocalist sitting in there was no detectable bump in their performance. After Linda rejoined the band, Benn would be back for a cover of Nat Adderley’s “Work Song,” to which Oscar had put lyrics. His baritone was perfectly tailored to traverse the emotional landscape of the song. Mirroring his blues was a bar walking sax solo devoid of all the cliché that style sometimes has.
Daniel Fabricant on bass was a study in tasteful restraint throughout the set. His sound on bass was full but never overwhelmed and there were no overly long flashy solos which can distract from the tension of a piece. One song, “Young Jazz,” had lyrics of Oscar Brown over a Lester Young solo arranged into music by Daniel. It got everybody moving in their seats and was the perfect song to end the set, as it served as a reminder that not only was Oscar a poet and activist, but he entertained as well. His art is continuing to be served and served well by Linda and the band.
... What They're Saying ...
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"She gives Brown’s songs a fresh slant ... songs that showcase her vocal ability ... bang in the gr... "She gives Brown’s songs a fresh slant ... songs that showcase her vocal ability ... bang in the groove ... slinky and sly in unraveling the blues ... show her mettle as a jazz singer." - Jerry D'Souza, All About Jazz
“She is a singer of great ability … organic strength of her voice is deftly wielded so that she can handle complicated passages without any dead spaces being created from having to rein back … romance combined with a more earthy heat … ” – Maxwell Chandler, www.winamop.com & www.jazzreview.com
“The sense of drama is something that this performer can call upon, and when she does, the act is at its most engaging.” – Rob Lester, www.cabaretexchange.com
"... a new female jazz singer who commands one’s attention ... a vocal performance which deserves mention" - Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene
"deft handling of the variety of material that’s here - from dark and bluesy to lighter material shows the many facets not only of Mr. Brown’s work - but her own talent. The transitions are seamless, and her way with a lyric makes Mr. Brown’s words come alive. It was an acquired taste. But once I acquired it, this disc went into heavy rotation on the ‘pod." - Doug Boynton, http://girlsingers.org/?p=274
"passionate and pitch-perfect voice" - Bread & Roses
“Brown's ... ambitious material presented with charm and earnestness ... hits the mark ... Linda can swing and vamp ... then switch to a poignancy ... [she] brings this timeless material to life for a new generation of listeners. Do I want to know more about Oscar Brown Jr.? You bet." – Steve Murray, Cabaret Scenes Magazine
Bay Times Critics Pick - the Best of Theatre of 2006 – Tom Kelly, San Francisco Bay Times
[Her voice] is musical, lyrical, with a natural vibrato, and on her ballads I wanted to dance a slow dance with a lithe and beautiful woman. – Richmond Shepard, New York, lively-arts.com & Performing Arts INSIDER
Last Thursday night, we had the privilege of an inspirational reminder of the immortal contributions of Oscar Brown, Jr. to the world of music, entertainment, & humanity by stunning professionals Linda Kosut and the superb jazz sounds of the Max Perkoff musicians at a unique, San Francisco world-class venue, "Jazz at Pearl's" - Houston Allred, entertainer
The music, the poetry, everything about the show was outstanding. Yes, it was classic Jazz and very soul-filled. Yet to say only that is an understatement. The show deserves spotlight attention. – Jonathan Farrell, independent journalist San Francisco
Her voice … silky and sinuous … a smoky plaintiveness … with an edge. Accompanied by the Max Perkoff Jazz Trio, she made smooth transitions between widely different styles … the assortment drawn from [Brown’s body of work] made a lively, varied program. – Albert Goodwyn, San Francisco Bay Times
"Her radiant smile lights up the intimate space, immediately capturing the attention and hearts of her audience … she’s the real thing...the multi-talented Kosut…has a fantastic sense of dynamics. She knows just when to play it small and quiet, and when to let ‘er rip…a perfect accompaniment to dinner with friends. – Tom W. Kelly, San Francisco Bay Times
One of the Top Female Vocalist CDs of 2003 – Linda Kosut’s “Life is but a dream” – the lady is incredible, the CD a gem!” – Stu Hamstra, Cabaret Hotline Online, New York
Linda lent her torchy contralto to a moody “One More For The Road” and a poignant reading of Randy Newman’s “Feels Like Home.” - Gene Price, San Francisco Bay Times
I cannot stop listening to this amazing combination of Linda’s beautiful ballads and her upbeat tunes, filled with personality! Linda’s voice is smooth, sultry and telling. This CD is a must have. Truly Remarkable! – Shawn Ryan, star of NBC’s America’s Got Talent
Linda scores with “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us chickens” and teams “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)” with “Scotch and Soda.” The Johnny Mercer/Harold Arlen classic and the Kingston Trio hit would seem an unlikely pairing, but – like most of the evening – the unexpected works beautifully. – Milt Hamlin, Seattle Gay News
Linda Kosut: In Town and Singing Brown
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"The show is a welcome reminder of the multi-faceted work of the man who proudly defied being catego..."The show is a welcome reminder of the multi-faceted work of the man who proudly defied being categorized or pigeon-holed by one kind of music. Linda Kosut doesn't seem to have much interest in being labeled either."
BEST OF THEATRE 2006
San Francisco Bay Times
News & Reviews from New York
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" ... listening to the clear, open, melodic voice of LINDA KOSUT ... it's musical, it's lyrical ... ..." ... listening to the clear, open, melodic voice of LINDA KOSUT ... it's musical, it's lyrical ... on her ballads I wanted to dance a slow dance with a lithe and beautiful woman. The ballads work, the jazz works, and so do the side trips into country and comedic. Her band, led by Max Perkoff, is a perfectly-timed ensemble that gently lifts each song. The show is entertaining from start to finish.
I am honored ...
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"I am honored to know that you are talented and inspired enough to put together this one-woman show ..."I am honored to know that you are talented and inspired enough to put together this one-woman show using our father's material. This makes you our sister, too. I am touched to know that you have been so inspired by Dad, who has been such an inspiration in my life."
Passion Shows for Oscar Brown , Jr.
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“The music, the poetry, everything about the show was outstanding. Yes, it was classic Jazz and very...“The music, the poetry, everything about the show was outstanding. Yes, it was classic Jazz and very soul-filled. Yet to say only that is an understatement. The show deserves spotlight attention [from mainstream media].”
My Own Kind of Hat Presents Bluer Shades of Blue
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"Her radiant smile lights up the intimate space, immediately capturing the attention and hearts of h..."Her radiant smile lights up the intimate space, immediately capturing the attention and hearts of her audience. Her comfort with the crowd promises an evening of good company and music. That promise is amply fulfilled. Delivering sincerity and honesty in abundance, she’s the real thing...the multi-talented Kosut...has a fantastic sense of dynamics within her songs. She knows just when to play it small and quiet, and when to let ‘er rip...a perfect accompaniment to dinner with friends."
As a coach to many vocalists who aspire to perform a one-man/woman cabaret show, and in addition to performing her full-length jazz/cabaret shows as described below, Ms. Kosut can be contracted to offer a Master Class in performance technique, lyric interpretation, stage presence, and the how-tos of building an act.
FULL-LENGTH SHOWS include:
"LONG AS YOU'RE LIVING" - The award-winning and nationally acclaimed tribute show to the music & poetry of the late jazz legend and entertainer extraordinaire, Oscar Brown Jr. This show’s national tour visited San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and includes tunes such as "Dat Dere" (on Linda's debut CD), "The Snake" made famous by Al Wilson and "Long As You're Living," originally recorded by the great Abbey Lincoln. Particularly suited to a college audience, this show is a lesson in the music and man who was “beyond category.” For the show and accompanying CD, Linda received national press and won a 2008 BackStage Bistro Award – THE BMI AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING RECORDING and picked up two 2008 nominations from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs for BEST FEMALE JAZZ VOCALIST and BEST JAZZ CD.
"THE NEWNESS OF YOU" - In this show, Linda explores the standards – ones that are and ones that should be - including such songwriters as Hoagy Carmichael, Randy Newman, Bob Dylan and originals by current songwriters.
“JUKEBOX CABARET” – From jazz to pop to cabaret, this unique audience-interactive show is mostly created on-the-spot. “Not-your-typical” jazz or cabaret show as the AUDIENCE is partially responsible for what happens! From her extensive and diverse repertoire, Linda takes your requests, adds them to her show and then sings just for you! This is a fun, upbeat and spontaneous show that has audiences raving. Hot, swinging and sassy!
“MY OWN KIND OF HAT!” - This show about the passage of time & living one's dreams received rave reviews from its 2005 tour; filled with humor, passion and poignancy! The songs include jazz standards such as "I Remember You," "I'm in The Mood for Love," and "You'll Never Know"; pop songs such as Tom Waits' "I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You," Randy Newman's "Feels Like Home"; the new John Ondrasik tune "100 Years"; and country/blue grass tunes such as Iris Dement's "My Life" and Merle Haggard's "I Wear My Own Kind of Hat."
For set gigs, her repertoire of over 200 songs covers the Great American Songbook standards to obscure and exciting contemporary material including pop, bluegrass and country.
Ms. Kosut can put together a 45-minute set, or 4, one-hour sets. In concert/theater productions, she can perform one of her jazz/cabaret shows in versions from 50 minutes to 90 minutes or two 45-minutes acts in length.