"[The arrangements on What to Wear in the Dark] emerged from some of McGarry’s and Ganz’s hardest times, and the album is sequenced as the same kind of lifeline for listeners, through the dark and out again, that creating it was for them. McGarry is already renowned for the winning naturalness with which she blurs jazz into folk and pop, from Peter Gabriel to Björk, and What to Wear in the Dark continues that tradition with graceful gravitas."
Brian Howe, INDY Week
"We also now have a beautiful version of [Anthem] by singer Kate McGarry and the Keith Ganz Ensemble, who just released it with a lyric video."
Nate Chinen, WBGO
"Positive and unique ... a breath of fresh air."
“Austere and elegant …an exceptionally appealing blend of folk and jazz."
“McGarry has developed a liquid sense of time. One of the many 'Daughters of Betty' (Carter, that is) McGarry hasn't taken that freedom as license to run hog-wild on every tune. No matter how many liberties she takes with meter and interpretation, she exercises a fidelity to the meaning of the song....McGarry has the pure untrammeled voice of an ingenue who finds wonder in the simplest things."
"No self-respecting jazz club would pass on the opportunity to book a Valentine’s Day gig with this trio. Flitting from standards to adaptations of the Sufi poet Hafiz to heartfelt McGarry originals, the triumvirate ponders age-old mysteries with delicacy and not a little spunk."
“With a voice that soars with abundant hope, Kate McGarry creates music that makes you sit up and take notice… a modern jazz singer who is redefining the genre with a compelling body of work.”
“By turns sensual, playful and self-examining, McGarry embraces jazz's freedom yet points the genre toward a future as fresh and thrilling as its past. She wields a crystalline tone with remarkable range and control, musically connecting Miles Davis and Bill Evans with Joni Mitchell and Bjork. Her song choices are eclectic and revealing, yet she connects strongest on her original tunes, which burst with insight and desire.”
“Absolutely enchanting, lyrical and true from the first note to the last. The height of jazz art!”
“Whenever Kate McGarry sings a familiar song, I consistently come away with the realization that I'd never before truly heard the lyrics, never really understood the layers of meaning, and never truly connected the melody, harmony and words in a way so as to experience the completeness or fullness of the song. She breathes her own thoughtful life into everything she touches. Suddenly I feel like I've heard the song as it was meant to be. With the tiniest inflections in sound, pitch, emphasis of a word, or just in her own mystical ways that cannot be explained, Kate manages to bring a song home to ourselves, making us aware of the many facets of being human. And somehow, this message always feels delivered with love. I couldn't imagine a more beautiful musical partner for Kate than Keith Ganz. Such lyricism and deeply meaningful intricacy is rare in the world of guitar. Their sensibilities feel in tandem, his melodies and harmonizations shifting in ways that make us shift along with him. It's wonderful when musicians instill such trust that you want to just completely let go and dive into their world. Their world is a world in which I love to be.”
Maria Schneider, Grammy-winning composer, NEA Jazz Master, Pulitzer Prize nominee
"McGarry’s vocals are supple, finely nuanced, and prone to blues inflections and breezy, daring improvisations."
"Astute and sensitive."
“Evocative lyricism, superb control and ample vocal and emotive range. Her voice would be iconic in any genre.”
“a quiet yet fearless original voice.”
“McGarry is absolutely heartrending - she puts her whole soul into each performance. Her melodic lines are brilliantly conceived and executed. McGarry moves into the big leagues with this impressive release.”
Ted Gioia, Jazz.com
“This singer has figured out how to create jazz arrangements of songs by Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills and Ric Ocasek without compromising either the jazz or the rock'n'roll. The substitute chords, elasticized rhythms and deconstructionist solos make this satisfying jazz, while the lyrics are delivered with such forceful urgency that it's still satisfying rock'n'roll. The songs are transformed but never obscured.”
“Heartfelt, intelligent, and unforgettable.”
“Her deceptively homespun style makes the covers feel acutely personal, as though the borrowed words were written for her alone.”
“...No greater beacon of sincerity, honesty and emotional purity”
“McGarry's singular musical gift is her ability to broadcast emotional transparency with undeniable and artless force. The singer one hears time and again in McGarry's work is gracious and endearing. She is vulnerable yet unbroken. She is always rapturous. With her musical and life collaborator, the guitarist Keith Ganz, McGarry has been forging a signature approach to standard and new compositions that is immediately fresh and very personal."
Kurt Elling, JazzTimes