What to Wear in the Dark (Resilience Music Alliance)

Kate McGarry + Keith Ganz Ensemble

Released September 3, 2021

Arts Fuse 2021 Jazz Critics Poll Top 10 Vocal Album






Throughout the darkest period in recent memory, the Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz Ensemble explored the healing power of music, and today the “Dynamic Duo” (Jazz.FM) share that inner strength with the world on What to Wear in the Dark. During a stretch of life which included “loss of health, home, and tribe” as McGarry puts it, the couple discovered a guiding light in the music of their youth. They found hope in Paul Simon so definitively crooning “life I love you” on “59th Street Bridge Song,” and they leaned into the optimism of Cat Stevens’ “On The Road To Find Out” and the Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun.” With McGarry’s partner in both music and life at her side, renowned guitarist Keith Ganz (Harry Connick Jr, Luciana Souza), the 3x Grammy nominee “finds hope in the darkness” (WBGO) on the brand new album of reworked, uplifting tunes on What to Wear in the Dark, out today on Resilience Music Alliance.

Teaming with Downbeat Critics Poll winner Gary Versace on keyboard, Blue Note recording artist Ron Miles on trumpet, and a host of jazz A-listers, What to Wear in the Dark finds McGarry and Ganz using their decorated jazz backgrounds to offer imaginative and fresh perspectives on the indelible pop standards that have helped them transcend their own challenges. For McGarry and Ganz, this helped them cut through the disorientation and fear that came with a career-threatening vocal injury for McGarry, the loss of parents and mentors in quick succession, and their exodus from New York City. As the world at large has grappled with so many heartbreaking challenges in the past few years, McGarry and Ganz decided to share their singular arrangements of these beloved classics on What to Wear in the Dark in the hopes others might draw the strength from them that they did.

Listen as Kate McGarry “becomes her own jazz standard” (NPR) through an emotional response to continued gun violence, a dedication of support for Black Lives Matter, a tribute to those lost during 9/11 and more on What to Wear in the Dark: https://ingroov.es/what-to-wear-in-the

Recorded over years in short bursts of inspiration – one right after the 2016 Presidential election, one as the pandemic was altering life as we knew it – many of the arrangements were inspired by the defining events of our era. A stunning cover of The Eagles’ “Desperado” entered their setlist after the tragedy at Sandy Hook as a response to the culture of fear mongering and violence that permeated conversations around gun violence. A rework of Steely Dan’s “Barrytown” was a reaction to the dangerous hatreds created by the rhetoric of “otherism,” and a message of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. “God Moves on the City,” written the day after September 11th, 2001 by Paul Curreri, speaks to the power of tragedy to undo our reality in an instant. And covers like “Here Comes The Sun” serve as reminders of brighter days ahead. Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz have shaped these familiar gems into a sophisticated jazz collection perfectly suited for these times.

Track Listing:

1. Dancing in the Dark (Howard Dietz / Arthur Schwartz) 05:08

2. Barrytown (Walter Becker / Donald Fagen) 07:49

3. Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell) 07:31

4. God Moves on the City (Paul Curreri) 05:52

5. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy) (Paul Simon) 06:48

6. Desperado (Glenn Frey / Don Henley) 04:15

7. On the Road to Find Out (Cat Stevens) 05:45

8. Anthem (Leonard Cohen) 07:26

9. Here Comes the Sun (George Harrison) 04:46

10. It Happens All the Time in Heaven (Kate McGarry) 06:23


Keith Ganz: guitars, bass (1, 5, 7, 8)

Kate McGarry: vocals

Ron Miles: cornet

Gary Versace: piano, organ, Wurlitzer, accordion

Obed Calvaire: drums (1, 4, 5, 8)

Clarence Penn: drums (2, 3, 9, 10)

Sean Smith: acoustic bass (2, 3, 9, 10)

Becca Stevens: vocals, charango (7)

Erin Bentlage: vocals (7)

Michelle Willis: vocals, Wurlitzer (7)

Christian Euman: drums (7)

James Shipp: percussion (7)

Produced by Keith Ganz

Co-produced by Kate McGarry


What To Wear In The Dark is a radical and lustrous weave of original music and cover tunes. Vocalist Kate McGarry and her partner, guitarist Keith Ganz, strive to “brighten up the night,” the aim of the first track, the 1930s classic “Dancing In The Dark.” The drive to beat back despair, whether it’s the social pressure bearing down in Steely Dan’s “Barrytown” or the passing of a lifestyle in the Eagles’ “Desperado,” animates this exceptional album.

There are rhythmically upbeat tunes, like Joni Mitchell’s ambiguous “Both Sides Now,” Cat Stevens’ “On the Road To Find Out,” a funky take on George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” and the album’s emotional pivot point, a chatty version of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” that spotlights guest artists Ron Miles’ sassy cornet and Gary Versace’s velvet piano. The two back McGarry as she takes on Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem.” Her voice is balm on “It Happens All the Time In Heaven,” a languorous art song that ends this album in a storm of affection.

Ganz’s edits and mixes give space and definition to each instrument as well as McGarry’s vocals. The flavors of Pat Metheny, Sting, Tom Waits and Peter Gabriel surface occasionally but never subvert the originality here. Recorded over four years, in three different places with varying personnel, What To Wear In The Dark sounds born to flow.

Carl Wolff (DownBeat)