Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Katie Bull is a New York City-based jazz singer who brings an interesting variety of influences to her performances. Bull has been influenced by the subtle, understated vocalists of the Cool School, including Helen Merrill and June Christy, but she has also been influenced by more cerebral artists such as Sheila Jordan, Jeanne Lee, and Betty Carter. At times, elements of Ella Fitzgerald can be found in Bull's singing. And when one adds all of these influences up, the end result is a recognizable singer who is talented in her own right; someone who is effective as both a scat singer and an interpreter of other people's lyrics. Depending on the mood she is in, Bull can be either abstract or warmly vulnerable.
Bull comes from a creative family. Her father was the late jazz pianist Richard Bull, a Detroit native who moved to New York City and played with bandleader/pianist Lennie Tristano before getting into choreography and modern dancing. And her stepmother was the late Cynthia Novack, another choreographer/modern dancer. Bull was born in N.Y.C. and has lived there most of her life; growing up, she lived in the Greenwich Village and Tribeca sections of Manhattan. The singer, who has been a vocal coach since at least 1994, heads an inter-arts company called the Bull Family Orchestra (whose activities include modern dancing as well as singing). In 2001, she recorded her first album, Conversations with the Jokers, which was released on Corn Hill Indie (a small, New York-based label) in March 2003.