KO ENSEMBLE is a rotating cast of Seattle’s best jazz and creative musicians. This is Kate Olson’s most straight ahead jazz project, and her compositions are heavily influenced by the music of Thelonious Monk, as well as the compositions of her contemporaries in the Seattle music scene. The music’s subject matter ranges from unrequited love to the sound of ripe fruit hitting the ground, and everything in between. KO ENSEMBLE has many incarnations, from duo to sextet. As described on jazz blog Bird is the Worm: Her KO Ensemble is straight-ahead jazz, a fastball right over the heart of the plate, and it’s just as terrific as her more unconventional projects. What’s especially gratifying about this project is that it provides her the space to reveal the extent of her lyricism and to bring it to full bloom. The melodic fragments she spins and weaves into the framework of her jazz-on-the-fringes music certainly possesses an evocative beauty, but to hear her exhale a melody in a more familiar environment really allows her talent to shine.