It was several years ago that I first discovered the music of Kate McGarry and I was instantly captured by not only her mesmerizing voice, but also the exquisite treatment of her chosen material material. I soon realized why Fred Hersch didn’t hesitate in referring to McGarry as his favourite singer.

When I was later introduced to the astounding playing of guitarist Keith Ganz, their partnership made sense, because he’s the most enlightened of musical tour guides, bringing you down unexpected pathways that always lead to the best musical landscapes.

The pair’s latest release What to Wear in the Dark, coming out Sept. 3, is perhaps one of their most interesting to date, derived from a challenging stretch of life that involved, as they put it, “loss of home, health and tribe.” Teaming with keyboardist Gary Versace, trumpeter Ron Miles and a host of others, McGarry and Ganz use their decorated jazz backgrounds to offer imaginative and fresh perspectives on the indelible pop standards that have helped them transcend their own challenges.

The Grammy-nominated dynamic duo joined me to tell us a little more about it.