Katie Zee is releasing her debut album with the Ed Moss Trio Friday at Schwartz's Point! Katie started her music career in St. Louis on a back porch, jamming on the guitar and song writing. From there she moved to Chicago, where she was all about harmonizing chick rock. Now in Cincinnati, it's all about jazz. Katie didn't really become Katie Zee until jazz. And she has gone backwards ever since, particularly to the 30's, 40's and 50's. She sings with Cincinnati piano jazz icon, Ed Moss, at Schwartz's Point in Over-the-Rhine. Katie's sultry voice is as smooth as butter and makes you yearn to hear more. I sat down to get to know a little more about my friend, Katie Zee.
Give us some backstory on Katie Zee...
I have always loved "jamming". There is nothing quite like sitting in with a group of musicians and passing the guitar around while everyone sings along and throws in weird and, often successful, fifths and thirds. But I have found that the shared repertoire often dwindles after a few songs and it turns into a one-man show - that's fun, but not my passion.
Jazz could not be more different. Everybody knows every tune in every key. Ok - that may be an exaggeration, but most everyone knows the standards and you can sit in with almost any group of proficient jazzers and sing for hours. A caveat: Ed Moss does know pretty much every tune in every key and can play it at any tempo with his eyes closed.
Before I met Ed, I had performed in many different capacities on a variety of stages, but there is nothing quite like working with someone so talented that it completely transforms the way you think about music. And there is no rush like standing on stage, listening to the musicians converse around you with their instruments - they are all telling different parts of the same story and you have to integrate yourself into the conversation while trying to hear everyone else's point of view. The odd thing, as a singer, is that you are not just telling your story, but the story of the composer, the writer and the many incredible musicians who have told the story hundreds of times before you. And the audience knows the story too. It's a trip. Very intimidating (in a good way).
So jazz has been a bit of an oasis for a gal who just loves to sing and is happily content with the standards everybody knows.
When did you start performing with Ed Moss?
I started singing with Ed in 2009, but the performance aspect did not happen immediately. I was a jazz "baby" with far to much to learn before I felt comfortable enough with this new style of music to attempt it in front of strangers. Song by song, Ed helped me find my keys. He challenged me with uber-fast tempos and unexpected key changes. Once I began performing, I was addicted.
Where can we go to buy the CD?
CD's are available at Schwartz's Point at the corner of Findlay, McMicken and Vine Street. Info about the club is at http://www.schwartzspoint.com/ or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase a copy.
What's next? More shows, tour etc...
There will definitely be more shows in the very near future - jazz and some other fun projects in the works - posted on twitter (katiezeemusic).