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This single comes in anticipation of Kama Ruby’s third album. Her previous albums helped to establish a sound that’s based heavily on jazz traditions, but manages to stretch beyond them by incorporating other types of music into the mix. The songs here are really great examples of that type of musical conception.
While this might be a remake of the classic Moby song, Ruby manages to make it all her own. Based on the torch song tradition (more on that in a moment), “Mistake” has a modern element in the arrangement. The music is solid and works pretty well. It’s not my kind of thing, though. The cut does feature the piano work of Mike Garson, who is best known for his extensive work with David Bowie.
It’s actually quite appropriate for that song to be delivered in a torch song style. In general the style refers to one person holding a “torch” for another person who has left them. The lyrics to the piece speak to that kind of tradition. Since in general, torch songs are sung by women, it wouldn’t apply to the original version. Just having a woman singing the song brings it closer to the definitive label. Then, when you add a jazz style to the music, it becomes an obvious fit. To me, that makes this an excellent of example of how an artist can reframe a song from another artist and make it their own. Obviously Moby couldn’t do it as a torch song, even though it had that potential.
The second song of this single is “Treasure Island.” While the performance here feels a little over the top, it is a pretty song with a folk music turned adult contemporary sound. Again, this song isn’t one that Ruby wrote. It was penned Jane Getz and Jon Strider. Getz actually handles the piano and provides some vocals on this rendition.
In general, this isn’t the kind of thing I would listen to. That said, it’s not without its merits or charms. There must be a market for this kind of music. In fact, I’m sure there is. I just don’t fall into that market.
Kama Ruby – “Mistake” single
Kama Ruby is originally from Bakersfield, California. She’s been a performer since she was small child. She deftly plies that trade these days as a jazz singer. That’s not her only performing outlet, though. She also performs as an actress and as a dancer. This new two-song single is presented as a part of the publicity push for her new full album.
The new set is her third album. It follows the debut “Kama Ruby, Straight-up & Chilled” and its follow-up “Kama Ruby: Rock Dreams in Jazz.” You might guess from her description as a jazz singer (along with the titles to the albums) that a lot of Ruby’s sound is truly rooted in jazz. That’s a safe bet, and fairly accurate. She brings in a number of other musical styles, though. In other words, this is not pure jazz by my definition, really. Of course, jazz these days is a wide-palette that encompasses a lot of things, so you might disagree with that call depending on your own personal definition. That’s one thing interesting about musical styles. There is a real personal dynamic to where the lines are drawn from one sound to another.
The main song to this single is “Mistake.” Well, at least it’s the titular song. A big chunk of that is on the mellow side. I like the bass that dances around in the backdrop of it quite a bit. The music gets into some jazzier treatments as it moves forward. It has an almost modern progressive rock edge to it in some ways. It makes me think of Sonja Kristina and Marvin Ayres’ project Mask at times.
The “B-side” (is that still a thing?) of this is “Treasure Island.” With a guitar based arrangement, the cut seems to focus even more on that progressive rock sort of arrangement. The vocals make me think of Annie Haslam a bit. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to picture Renaissance doing this song.
I really like the nods and connections to progressive rock that I can hear here. I suppose those links might be less about this music and more about the connections, though. I mean, the Ayres/Kristina act I mentioned focuses a theatrical, artsy electronic edge. Perhaps the comparison to that sound here is more about the electronic nature of the music than it is about a real musical reference point.
When I made the mention of Renaissance, to a large degree that’s more about the vocals than it is anything else. That said, there is a certain folk music tradition that seems represented by the song structure itself. That’s the same kind of sound that Renaissance often turned to progressive rock through their particular interpretations.
Whether you hear the progressive rock in this or not, the mix of sounds here is intriguing. To call it strictly jazz, I think would be doing it a disservice. There is a lot of jazz here, but it’s more as a musical reference point, contributing factor, that it is a definition. The music may start with a jazz concept, but it’s not limited by it. All in all, this is a solid sampling of intriguing music.
G. W. Hill
Kama Ruby – “Mistake” single
I’ve not heard of Kama Ruby before. I’m always on the look-out for interesting and effective female performers, so I feel that I’ve been missing out on something worthwhile. This single features a couple new songs from the artist in anticipation of her third album. Kama Ruby’s sound has a lot of nods to jazz traditions, but doesn’t seem tied to that type of sound. She manages to work wonders in a musical zone that wanders around it. I guess you could say that she does that in a similar way to Steely Dan, but this doesn’t sound like Steely Dan. It just occupies a similar jazz-inspired territory.
With “Mistake,” Ruby creates her own version of a Moby tune. There is a lot of real emotion built into the lyrics and her vocal delivery on this version helps to realize that. The music here seems to flirt with jazz, but it has more of a tendency toward electronic music.
Of course, if you set this version alongside the original, it’s positively pure jazz. I tend to think that the electronic elements here are more of an homage to the sound of Moby’s version of the song. They do bring a different depth and character to it when paired with those jazzy components.
The other cut of this single is “Treasure Island.” While Ruby didn’t write the song, (Jane Getz and Jon Strider did) I think that aspect of this song deserves some attention. In fact, I think the lyrical aspect is particularly impressive. The song is based on the Robert Louis Stevenson book at its heart. The clever twist to it, though, is that those references are laid out as a metaphor for more personal real life situations. I don’t think I’ve ever heard an original version of this, assuming there is one, but based on those lyrics I’d be interested in checking it out.
Musically “Treasure Island” is generally a mellower piece of music. The vocals are clear and soaring. Ruby shows that she has the pipes to really deliver some stunning vocal work. While I prefer the first song to this one, there are certainly selling points to this one.
I’m definitely interested in hearing the whole new album from Kama Ruby. I find the sounds here have piqued my interest. I’ll be looking into her earlier releases, too. She has a lot of talent, and I like her style.
Mary Angela Tobin
Kama Ruby “Mistake”
Kama Ruby “Mistake”
If you are like me, the first thing you’ll wonder about this particular artist is, “what kind of a name is ‘Kama Ruby’? Is that a band or group name or a person’s name?” So, I’ll answer that one for you right at the start of this review. Kama Ruby is, indeed, a person’s name. As Ruby explains on her website, “Well, it is my stage name. My parents gave me the Sanskrit name ‘Kama’, because….well, they were hippies, ok! “Ruby” was chosen in honor of my great grandma Ruby.”
With that duly out of the way, who is this performer who goes by the name Kama Ruby? She’s a jazz singer (her description) and an actress and dancer. As an actress she’s done everything from Shakespeare to musical theater. I think that the musical theater experience can be heard at varying points and in varying ways in her performances here. You might even be able to spot it in some of the musical arrangements.
The first song presented here is “Mistake.” That’s a musical piece that was originally done by the electronic or house music artist Moby. I find myself singing along every time I hear this song as its presented here. I guess that’s the true sign of a particularly catchy melody. Of course, that’s probably more about the song writing than it is about the performance. Even so, this is quite pretty and interesting in this rendition. I hear both jazz and electronic music built into it. Among the musicians on this song is pianist Mike Garson who played extensively for David Bowie over a number of years.
The other song included on this single is “Treasure Island.” The vocals on the number shake a bit too much for my tastes. That’s a well-known tradition in musical theater and jazz music, so technically it’s not a big problem. It just happens to be that it acts almost like the proverbial nails on a chalkboard for me. Beyond that it reminds me of Celine Dion in some ways. It’s a pretty song, but I like the first one better. Piano on this song is provided by Jane Getz. In addition to the piano, she also provides vocals on the song. Beyond that, Getz co-wrote the piece of music with Jon Strider.
From a jazz fan’s point of view, the participation of Getz is a big deal. She’s a bit of a big name in the world of music. She’s performed with legends ranging from Charles Mingus to Stan Getz, Roland Kirk and more. Outside of the jazz world, she’s on albums by artists from The Bee Gees, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, Rick and John Lennon. To some degree, her appearance here lends a certain credibility to this project. That said, the music is strong enough to not really need that extra boost.
If you like jazz-oriented music, you will find good stuff here. It’s obvious that Ruby has a lot of talent. It’s also readily apparent that she has a love for this kind of music, bringing a real fire and passion to it. Those things go a long way to elevating this music.
Kama Ruby is one of the most talented artists I have worked with. She can do wonders with a song and has the ability to dazzle her audience in a live perfomance. Her voice is pure magic, AND she is a pleaseure to work with. Her new CD is inspiring, a work of art and so intriguing you'll listen again and again.
Producer, Pianist, Vocalist, and Songwriter
Kama constantly challenges herself to improve her work and her life. She’s a great motivator and an inspiration to those around her. As a fellow artist, she’s authentic and disciplined. Always looking to refine her craft and work from a place of authenticity and courage. There’s always a creativity and drive in her work. I love and admire that about Kama.
Head of Movement: Art of Acting Studio
Actor, Director, Producer
Kama Ruby shines bright on her instrumentally diverse new EP, "Miss You, Mitch" (wewriteaboutmusic.com)
Kama Ruby shines bright on her instrumentally diverse new EP, "Miss You, Mitch"
Review by Austin Sher
Miss You, Mitch is the incredibly catchy and melodic new EP coming from Kama Ruby. What a fantastic release! Please read along with us as we break down our thoughts on the record, as well as provide some insight into the artist herself.
Kama Ruby, also known as Kat Foxel, seriously impressed us with her latest release. Before we fully get into our thoughts, it’s always best to familiarize yourself with the artist and inspirations behind the music. Miss You, Mitch takes a journey through Kat’s life in four stages, through four songs on the EP. Kat went from being raised in a trailer park, and bartending in a local dive bar, to living the good life with a nice guy in a suburban neighborhood. She was a hard core party girl, until she found the guy who’d take her away from it all.
Listening to the EP in order is a must, as each song takes you through a personal journey and junction into the artist’s life. Apart from the stellar vocals and instrumentation, each song tells a delicate story that deserves to be listened to. If you ever wanted to get into the mind of a so-called “stranger”, this would be a great place to start.
Moving to the music, the EP comes in at a track length of 4 and runtime of about 14 minutes. We’ll be honest, we weren’t happy when it ended, because we so desperately wanted more! Kama’s voice is jaw droppingly impressive. It borders on almost a country tone to it, but throughout the record, shows off its versatility to the point where you could utilize it in multiple genres. We were hooked on every last word being sung back to us.
Ideally, you could break up the record into two different listens. The first listen could just be spent listening to the lyrics and stories. The second listen would be just an instrumental, because there’s so much diversity and inclusion across all spectrums of music it became hard to keep track. The constant inclusion of violin and saxophone instantly had us needing more. At this point in the review it must just feel like a string of compliments, but honestly it’s just so deserving.
This was our first foray into the music of Kama Ruby, but it absolutely will not be our last. Seeing what she’s capable of had us going into her back discography to see what we’ve been missing out on. We feel you should do the same!
For everything Kama Ruby, to listen to Miss You, Mitch, and to keep up with all future releases and information, please check out the following links below.
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"Wow, Kama, thanks for covering “Ride Me Like A Wave”!! I love it when another artist does a totally different take on my work – just great."
Janis Ian- Grammy Winning Singer, Musician, and Songwriter
"Kama's unique voice is a beautiful blend of sexiness and heart. She stirs emotions from deep within and is the perfect accompaniment for a glass of wine shared over a romantic meal."
Sarah Norris Artistic Director -
New Light Theatre Project
"Her folk/pop-infused jazz evokes emotional memories of artists from Stevie Nicks to Billie Holiday. Her album, "Mind's Eye," includes a captivating cover of Joan Baez's "Diamonds and Rust," as well as a version of Moby's "Mistake," with hypnotic vocals and sparkling piano licks. This album delivers."
Nate Bynum, Co-Head of Performance at UNLV.
Linda Lister, Director of Opera at UNLV.
Badlands of Bakersfield- Kama Ruby
Kama Ruby sings with a raw grit and soul on the Americana “Badlands of Bakersfield”. Detail matters a great deal from the laid-back rhythms to the playful fiddle work. Proving to be a great storyteller the song has a lived-in quality to it. February 11 at 11:01 AM · Belvidere, NJ THE 61st FYC ALBUM by Various Artists.https://skopemag.com/2019/02/11/bongo-boy-records-release-the-61st-fyc-album?fbclid=IwAR38bXrfrBcFjjSemtvLR1uSpiExluR2u5rcKj6PICz6sfIOvQcy3EMFGV4
Bongo Boy Records Worldwide – LOVE IS VOLUME TWO by Various Artists
by Skope • May 25, 2018
“Infinitely catchy, Kama Ruby’s “It’s Fine With Me” goes for a carefully crafted spirit. Jazz and rock come together in a compelling, colorful fashion. All of it works together as the many layers add to the sense of purpose that defines the track.”
By Beach Sloth
Get your hard copy here! https://bongoboyrecords.com/loveisvolumetwo/
Download from itunes here! https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/its-fine-with-me/1387153858?i=1387154189
Kama Ruby: Rock Dreams in Jazz album review @ All About Jazz
Kama Ruby: Rock Dreams In Jazz
BY C. MICHAEL BAILEY
November 2, 2015
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Track review of "Nature Boy"
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Vocalist Kama Ruby's sophomore effort Rock Dreams in Jazz is closeted in the respect that it contains only two rock songs among some sturdy jazz standards. The Eagles' "Hotel California" and Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon/Sister of the Moon" represent the promise of a set of "new" standards among the old. As provocative as they are, these newer songs do not come close to the transformation Ruby brings to "Embraceable You" and "Nature Boy."
This is not your parent's Nat King Cole "Nature Boy." This is a Samuel Taylor Coleridge opium dream setting for Eden Ahbez' warhorse composition. Jeff Rosburgh provides an airy cushion with an electric piano, a cushion exacerbated by Mark Meyer's breathy clarinet. Ruby's delivery measured and languid, like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz singing cabaret in the "pirate city" of Mos Eisley on the planet Tatooine (Star Wars (20th Century Fox, 1977)). Her voice is seductive and beguiling, stealing the show in the piece. Her "Embraceable You" is as out-of-this-world also.
Lush thick jazz vocal single Kama Ruby Mike Garson Kris Tiner – Lazy Afternoon
January 25, 2020
This entry is part 24 of 31 in the series Single, EP and Video reviews
Lush thick jazz vocal single Kama Ruby Mike Garson Kris Tiner – Lazy Afternoon
Lush thick jazz vocal single Kama Ruby Mike Garson Kris Tiner – LAZY AFTERNOON: I pointed out in my review for Kama’s performance of “Moby’s Mistake” that her vocals are sultry and engaging from the very first note to the closing bar… on each and every new video, it’s easy to hear her sophistication growing by leaps & bounds; Kama’s lush thick jazz vocal on this song is marvelously complimented by Mike’s rich piano chords and Kris’s enchanting trumpet, to be sure.
If you weren’t in a laid-back mood when you started listening, you absolutely will be after the first two bars… the mix is pure perfection, capturing each little nuance of Kama’s vocal and the beautiful blend of piano & horn roving in, around & through the tune…
…since you’re right there already, be sure you SUBSCRIBE to Kama’s YouTube video channel, where you’ll find lots of other high-energy video performances.
I can honestly say that this is the most romantic jazz vocal single I’ve heard (yet) in 2020… I give Kama & her players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 4.99 for this ultra-cool jazz vocal single. Get more information on Kama’s website. Rotcod Zzaj
#Lush #thick #jazz #vocal #single #Kama #Ruby #Mike #Garson #Kris #Tiner
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Dick Metcalf (aka Rotcod Zzaj) is a globe-hopping musician and poet who spent many years roving the world until he finally settled in his current abode, Lacey, Washington... just down the road from Seattle. He started IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION magazine in 1990 (still being published), and Contemporary Fusion Reviews magazine in 2016. He also was a keyboard player & singer for many years... you can hear (and download for free) many of those works at his "Internet Archive Collection". If you'd like to support our efforts and get something in return, there are also a few of these albums for sale on the Rotcod Zzaj BandCamp site"
First Review is out of "In Trouble - Triumph Over Tragedy. A Spoken Word Project."
Trouble trauma triumph Jane Getz Kama Ruby Dana Martin In Trouble - Triumph Over Tragedy - Contemporary Fusion Reviews
Trouble trauma triumph Jane Getz Kama Ruby Dana Martin IN TROUBLE – TRIUMPH OVER TRAGEDY: I’ve reviewed Kama Ruby’s work many times now, most recently on her “Miss You, Mitch” EP, where she got high marks for her unique creations. Kama, Jane Getz and Dana Martin take it all in new directions (again) with exciting spoken word that gets you intimately acquainted with the three BIG T’s – trouble trauma and triumph… before we get started on the individual performances, I strongly suggest that you watch the promo video for the album… …if you haven’t done it already, you’ll want to SUBSCRIBE to Kama’s YouTube channel, where you’ll find many more entertaining videos. A “warning” is somewhat in order… these ladies speak plainly about tough subjects, and if your “LTQ” (language tolerance quotient) is at a low level, you’ll probably want to move right on down th’ road… one of the jazziest spoken-word tunes I’ve heard (in a very long time) is performed by Jane Getz doing both keyboards and the spoken word… her performance on “Ready for Freddy” (about jazz giant Freddy Hubbard) takes you right ON down into the heart of an assault that changed her whole music career – a stunning salvo of words that I totally dug! Dana Martin’s dynamic spoken word description of an injury at a roller rink might seem kinda’ “ordinary“, but right at the end of her skating sequence, she takes a mighty fall that hammers home just how much life can change in only an instant… there’s an amazing element of theater here, but what comes across more strongly than anything else is how the intervention of angels can actually happen! Kama’s spoken-word piece is the longest on the album, clocking in at 23:31… again, it’s a tough subject, but she tells the story of how abuse, rape and addiction made it truly difficult for her on “I’m Not Ok”… here’s a teaser that will make you feel her pain… Yes, the emotion is raw, the perils are real and the language is a bit rough… but what shines through is that there is no solace in “PC”; that the only way “out” is through “dealing” with it… what I found most enjoyable is that each performer uses their word skills to tell you how they triumphed over it all! I give all three ladies a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with a (perfect) “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 5.00 – which means that the album also gets a “PICK” from me for “best spoken-word album”. Get more information on Kama’s site for the release. Rotcod Zzaj #Trouble #trauma #triumph #Jane #Getz #Kama #Ruby #Dana #Martin