Press Releases & Reviews[tab:Review #1]
Katie Glassman – Snapshot
by Shawn Underwood in Acoustic, Bluegrass, Folk, Jazz
MAR 8, 2012
Chocolate covered bacon. Spam sushi. Over easy eggs on pizza. I’m a fan of things that, at first, don’t seem to go well together, and yet when you actually try it’s pretty darn good. That’s the kind of surprise I got when listening to Katie Glassman’s latest release, Snapshot. It’s bluegrass and vintage jazz. A torch singer with a fiddle. Blues polka. The album starts out with Uncle John, a western swing number that if not for Glassman’s silky vocals, would be immediately pegged as an Asleep At the Wheel classic. Then comes the title track, a jazzy number that would be perfectly at home in a sharp Vegas lounge in the 50.s. Next up is Devil’s Plea that starts with a breathless vocal part that builds the suspense on what direction the song will take: will it be bluegrass, will it be jazz? Ahh, who cares, it will be a good listen.
Earlier in her career Glassman won a bazillion awards for her fiddle prowess. But like any good musician she used that to springboard into other genres and styles. On the whole, I’d say Snapshot is more of a jazz project than anything, but that categorization is more about picking the biggest minority. Personally I found myself drawn to several tunes with more of a bluesy tinge: Rain, Rain; Long White Dress; and a Billie Holiday-soaked 1000 Shades Of Blue.
I don’t really know how to wrap up this review, since Snapshot covers such a wide variety of music.
Somehow, though, it all flows together and fits nicely. So whether you want a little twang in your jazz, or some sultry vocals in your bluegrass, Katie Glassman comes through on this disc.
Steal This Track: Katie Glassman
By Eryc Eyl | March 22nd, 2012
Steal a track from the latest album from Denver-based fiddle player Katie Glassman.
With the weekend securely in our sights, Steal This Track wants to send you sailing off into your down time with some more free music from great local artists. Today, we have tracks to steal two talented Colorado women. We’ll begin with the fiddle-driven jazzy swing of Denver’s Katie Glassman.
From falling in love with the fiddle at age nine to becoming the Colorado State Fiddle Champion at last year’s National Western Stock Show, Katie Glassman has built up quite a resume. She studied jazz AND classical violin at the University of Colorado, and in 2004, became the first violinist to graduate from that school with a jazz studies certificate. Two years later, she was the second American ever to attend the Centre Musique Didier Lockwood in France, where she received a certificate with honors in 2007. Since 1994, Glassman has taught fiddle and violin lessons from her Fiddle Parlor Studio.
When Glassman returned to Denver in 2007, she began playing gypsy jazz around town with a number of outfits — most notably with Impromptu. Earlier this month, she released a solo CD, “Snapshot,” which deftly balances gypsy jazz, folk traditions, bluegrass and even a little country, all played expertly with luminescent locals like finger style guitarist Sean McGowan, multi-instrumentalist Wes Michaels, John Macy and many more. Steal “Uncle John” to hear a bit of what Glassman’s capable of, then pop over to iTunes to buy the whole 16-track album for a mere $9.99. Visit her website for a list of upcoming live shows.
Katie Glassman’s CD release party
By: Elisa Cohen
March 15, 2012
“Is ‘bluegrazz’ a word?” wonders All About Jazz writer Florence Wetzel. In her rave review of Katie Glassman’s SNAPSHOT, she adds, “Perhaps it should be.”
With the official release of the North Denver fiddler-singer’s album, others will discover what Wetzel also calls “an amalgam of sound that is genuinely fresh to the ears.”
Glassman’s singular ability to blend tradition with contemporary color comes to the fore on this set of beguiling originals, which simultaneously captures the vintage, sepia-toned feel of her childhood experiences with old-time music and fiddling contests, and the fresh sophistication of her jazz studies and year-long sojourn in France.
Glassman is planning several Colorado performances with her band — Eric Moon, accordian and piano; Yaniv Salzberg, guitar and vocals; and Kim Bird, bass.
Grafting new roots
Katie Glassman gives Americana a gypsy makeover
By Claire Swinford
March 22, 2012
Denver’s Glassman on her self-released album: ‘It’s kind of a summary of where I’ve been.’
Snapshot, the debut album from Denver jazz fiddler Katie Glassman, might easily be mistaken for a lost recording of Eartha Kitt playing Austin City Limits. But while Glassman’s music is steeped in tradition, it also conveys stylistic idiosyncrasies that stem from her personal musical background.
“A lot of people have described my music as vintage jazz meeting western swing,” she says. “That really resonates with me. When I put this whole project together, I wanted it to be something old with a twist of something new.”
From the opening chords of “Uncle John,” Snapshot sounds like it was just pulled out of a dusty box in a ranch house attic, heavy with history and curling at the edges. Glassman’s tunes draw from a wide base of highly appealing musical styles, incorporating anything that gives her violin a personality, from the gypsy jazz she learned in France to the swing she was raised on in Denver, where she grew up with future DeVotchKa and Flobots musicians.
“When I was in eighth grade,” she says, “I started playing guitar, and Andy Guerrero, who’s in Bop Skizzum and was in the Flobots, we would sit and play guitar and sing Beatles songs. And so they were such a huge inspiration for me.”
Glassman’s accomplishments include a slew of national fiddle championship titles and a stint at the premier jazz music school in France. But her sights are set squarely on a Colorado-based career. Being a Colorado musician matters to her, she says, “because there’s such a wide variety with just the bands here alone; we could do so much with supporting one another … Hopefully my music will contribute to a niche with a lot of the traditional bluegrass players and a lot of the country jazz players. Swing music, I feel, falls between those cracks and needs to be revived.”
Glassman drew upon those inspirations — and a bevy of others from her 10 years as a side fiddler in Denver — for her first solo album, making Snapshot into a polished, yet diverse curriculum vitae.
“I do feel like the album is a culmination of what I’ve done my whole life,” she says. “There’s not so much Texas fiddle on there, but there’s the acoustic waltz with ‘Deer Brush.’ And there’s ‘Ma Liaison Avec la France,’ and that’s my French connection. And Eric Thorin arranged both ‘Pretty Pictures’ and ‘Molly Song’ with a string quartet, which encompasses another special part of my life. It’s kind of a summary of where I’ve been.”
It’s hard to call Glassman a niche artist when her music conveys such a broad range of influences. Snapshot may be roots music, but a great many of those roots are non-native species. It shouldn’t shock, then, that among pitch-perfect old-timey original compositions on Snapshot, there’s a sweet, swingy version of Paul McCartney’s “Honey Pie,” or that her top three dream gigs are shared stages with DeVotchKa, Dakota Blonde and Lannie Garrett.
“I don’t really want to be a solo artist,” she says. “This is a part of me and I’m putting it out there, but I really value these other musicians … It’s just an honor for me to have them help color my picture.”
Katie Glassman Snapshot
By Larson Baird
Published: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Katie Glassman has earned herself quite a reputation over the years since graduating from CU Boulder, and is the current Colorado State Fiddle Champion. However, it is not only her fantastic fiddling that shows through the simple cover of Snapshot.
The album kicks off with an upbeat, foot tappin’ tune “Uncle John” that also introduces Glassman’s smooth voice that evokes a sense of nostalgia throughout the CD. Her voice is reminiscent of 40s or 50s jazz and blues singers performing in smoky venues into a vintage microphone.
The musical accompaniment to Glassman’s voice could not be more expertly executed. Classical, country, folk and even blues make their appearance in this album and can be fully appreciated in instrumental tracks “Ma Liason Avec La France” and “Deer Brush Waltz.” A plethora of accompanying artists also play their own distinct role in the album. The most notable would be Andrea McGowan’s high-quality harmonious vocals on three tracks; the homophonic symphony makes for a more engaging and dynamic track.
UCD’s own virtuoso, Paul Musso, adds tasteful strumming to the track “Pretty Pictures” and Sally Van Meter’s dobro guitar riff matches perfectly with the catchy tune laid down by Katie on “Long White Dress”.
My hat comes off to Ms. Glassman and her entire assembly of musicians on a well-rounded and unique record.