In the two years since she has begun recording, Katie Bull has proven herself to be "a force to be reckoned with in vocal jazz." On her first two Corn Hill Indie albums, Conversations With The Jokers and Love Spook, Bull demonstrated a strong foundation in the music’s tradition, as well as the powerful will and desire to expand it, blending adventurous original material with her own uniquely personal interpretations of classics from the Great American Songbook. Now, on CUP OF JOE, NO BULL, she demonstrates the depth of her commitment to her artistic philosophy, baring her soul in an intimate musical conversation with bassist Joe Fonda, as she continues to combine her own compelling compositions with music from the standard jazz repertoire.
Katie Bull is a jazz vocalist and multi-media performer living in New York City since birth. Outside of pianists, there are probably more female vocalists working in jazz then any other type of performer, but when counting the truly adventurous singers that list becomes amazingly short. With Katie Bull a new name can be added. She has sung with her divine mentors her "jazz mothers" vocalist/composers Jay Clayton and Sheila Jordan, as well as pianist and composer Kirk Nurock, composer Julius Eastman, pianists Michael Jefry Stevens, Frank Kimbrough and Joshua Wolf, percussionists Lou Grassi, Matt Wilson, Harvey Sorgen, George Schuller and Jon Wikan; and bass players Joe Fonda, Martin Wind and Cameron Brown. Her premiere CD (Conversations with the Jokers, which features with Stevens, Grassi, and Fonda) was released in early 2003, followed by her second CD (Love Spook which features Wilson, Kimbrough, Wind, Stevens and Joe Fonda) recently released. Katie is also a writer, inter-arts performer, and founder of The Bull Family Orchestra, integrating dance, spoken text, and music. Capable of creating the kind of music that has real meaning in today’s world, Katie has the courage to tackle the contradictions inherent in love and life and the talent that gives her the ability to sing old songs in new ways. A wisp of Ella Fitzgerald here, a hint of Sarah Vaughan there, a few drops of Jeanne Lee and even a smidgen of June Christy may come to mind, but Katie’s sound is hers alone. Her influences of the great jazz tradition are evident, but more in providing a launching pad for her own singular explorations.
"Jazz vocalist Katie Bull just never lets you down with her insightful CD projects...She & the groups she puts together seem supreme … feelings range from positive tension, relaxation, expectancy, and fulfillment … fine treatment and vocalease … intimate interaction of folks and forces...a pleasurable musical journey … Bull’s music bespeaks an undisguised delight of the emotions she is quite capable of arousing … an illuminating & exciting new approach in listening."
- George Carroll-The Musicians’ Ombudsman
"...(a) prodigiously talented singer...Bull sings in a warm, smooth voice that will remind some of Sarah Vaughan and others, interestingly, of the young Chet Baker - at least until she starts to scat, at which point her rhythmic adventurousness and unusual syllabic choices make it clear that she is approaching this repertoire with an agenda all her own."
" … (a) unique delivery and style … immediately qualifies her for that deserving-of-more-recognition category … Bull’s scatting tendencies develop naturally when lyrics and words just don’t seem enough to get the point across. Her natural swinging ability and risk-taking make her a vocalist deserving a listen."
- AllAboutJazz-New York
"There’s no question as to authenticity - one listen to the young vocalist and you1ll hear the wandering, giddy lyricism above rich, dark piano chords that make middle-age melodies youthful. She can scat, too … "
- Village Voice
"A great use of experimental voice work. Using her voice and phrasing as a free instrument alongside Joe Fonda’s bass exploits one of the most inventive ideas that have come from the new wave of jazz vocalists … Bull will be a force to be reckoned with in vocal jazz."