Kathleen Colleen ‘Kathy’ Troccoli was born on June 24, 1958 in Brooklyn, New York. She became a Christian in 1978 and released her first album, STUBBORN LOVE, in 1982. Fast forward to 2006 and she released THE STORY OF LOVE. It was on Reunion Records and was produced by Kathy and Matt Baugher. In the liner notes, Kathy writes: “On any given day I still marvel at the supernatural love of God. It is constant, surprising, and full of grace. It is all around us. Somehow, it transcends our pain and increases our joy”.
The album opens with ‘Pick Yourself Up’, a jazz ballad that encourages perseverance: “Work like a soul inspired/Till the battle of the day is won/You may be sick and tired/But you be a man my son/Don’t you remember the famous men who had to fall to rise again?/They pick themselves up/Dust themselves off/And start all over again”. Paul Nelson plays cello and Andrea Zonn, the fiddle, on ‘Dancing Me Through This Life’ which runs over six minutes long. It’s an inspirational ballad on which Kathy speaks lovingly to the Father: “Flying over clouds in the night/Stars shine with Your color burning white/Who can pierce through the darkness of the sky like You do in this heart of mine?/Heaven plays the music of Your grace/Spinning round and round in Your embrace/Knowing that each day/Knowing that each night/You’ll keep dancing me through this life”.
Kathy, Tom Kimmel, and Jeff Franzel wrote ‘Talk to Jesus’, an adult contemporary ballad that offers hope to the hurting: “When your heart is undercover and you’re sinking like a stone/And your happy ever after left you all alone/Talk to Jesus (2X)/When this old world is more than you can bear/Talk to Jesus (2X)/When no one’s left to call He’s always there/Talk to Jesus”. ‘I Cor 13’ is a light jazz number that is very biblical: “Love is patient, love is kind/And love knows no jealousy/It does not boast/Love is not proud/Does not act unbecomingly/Love seeks not its own/Forgives every wrong/Rejoices in what’s true/This is what love can do”.
‘Make My Life A Prayer to You’ is a Christian classic penned by Melody Green and originally appeared on her husband Keith’s 1978 album NO COMPROMISE. Here, Kathy keeps the original melody and background vocals are provided by Lisa Bevill, Drew Cline, and Bonnie Keen. It’s a great cover and includes these marvelous lyrics: “I wanna die and let You give Your life to me so I might live/And share the hope You gave to me, the love that set me free/I wanna tell the world out there that You’re not some fable or fairytale/That I’ve made up inside my head/You’re God the Son and You’ve risen from the dead”. ‘Lifting my Hands’ is a quiet worship song: “I’m lifting my hands to You/I’m raising my voice for You/I’m lifting my hands to You/I’m raising my voice/You are holy/You are worthy/You are holy, Lord”.
Carl Herrgesell plays piano and David Cleveland plays guitar on the inspirational ballad ‘Psalm 34’ which includes this spoken word piece: “Those who look to Him are radiant and their faces are never covered with shame/This poor woman called and the Lord heard me and saved me out of all my troubles/The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and He delivers them/Fear the Lord you His saints/For those who fear Him lack nothing”. David M. Edwards wrote ‘Mercy’ which serves as a prayer: “I’m at the end/I’m on my knees/Weighted down by all my need/I should have come when You first called/And yet, Your love still broke my fall/Lord, have mercy/Lord, have mercy on me, on me/Wash and cleanse me/Make me holy like Thee, like Thee/Have mercy”.
Billy Sprague, Jeff Franzel, and Kathy wrote ‘Friend for Life’ on which Craig Nelson plays bass and John Hammond plays drums. It’s obviously about true friendship here on earth: “You’ve got a friend for life/For all of time/There will always be a bridge between your heart and mine/Come what may we never say goodbye/You’ve got a friend for life/Remember anytime the world is on your shoulders/When the clouds appear or you’re feeling small/Let me be the one you call”. Last up is ‘The Glory of Love’, a playful jazz number that Benny Goodman took to #1 in the 1930’s. It begins: “You’ve got to give a little, take a little/And let your poor heart break a little/That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love/You’ve got to laugh a little, cry a little, until the clouds roll by a little/That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love”.
THE STORY OF LOVE is made up mainly of inspirational and adult contemporary ballads, but what sets it apart when it comes to CCM albums is the inclusion of three light jazz numbers. One cannot say enough good things about Kathy’s vocals. This album has a warm, laid back feel to it. There are songs about and encouraging intimacy with God. As well, there are some praise and worship songs, and ones about displaying love and friendship on this planet. I recommend this easy listening album to the forty and over crowd and rate it 95%. For more info visit: www.kathytroccoli.com or check her out on Facebook.