Local Singer Makes Ballads Sparkle

by Thomas De Shazor

Her fiery red spirals walk the line between Shirley Temple's sugar and spice and Hendrix's unattainable "Foxy Lady." Detroit's own Kathy Kosins juxtaposes a tender songstress, who makes ballads sparkle, and an unyielding songwriter and arranger whose craft isn't only her job but her passion. "Mood Swings," her striking collection of serenades begins with "I Was There," an upbeat way to embark on a musical journey through different styles of jazz. "Paradise" is tinted with bossa nova influences and adds an unpredictable harmonica solo. The swing style of "No Ordinary Joe" is just as enjoyable as Kosins's scatting on "Between Your Heart and Mine." The most refreshing attribute about "Mood Swings" is the new, original material. Few female jazz vocalists pen their own songs. Kosins takes her music into her own hands, but not without the help of talented producers and musicians, some of whom have worked with the likes of Taylor Dayne and Celine Dion.

The album's covers include classics like "Foxy Lady," "Gee Baby, (Ain't I Good To You)" and Jackie Gleason's "Melancholy Serenade." Listeners can venture to guess that the title, "Mood Swings," came from a variety of situations throughout her career as a performer and abstract artist. From the prolonged completion of the album to being a talented, uncompromising woman in a male-dominated field, Kosins's painstaking musical efforts are rewarded with a solid album of jazz tunes. Owing, perhaps, to the two-years-plus it took to complete "Mood Swings," the closeness she has with her band-mates is evident in the tightness, maturity and tenderness of the album.