Miss Justine: The Many Moods of Miss Justine (2004)
Justine Keeys is a Philadelphia-based jazz singer whose second recording, a septet outing, features highly regarded Philly saxman Larry McKenna. The album is so titled due to the singer's wish to mix the instrumentation throughout, presenting voice with piano and bass, or adding drums, or adding sax and/or trumpet.
She presents thirteen well-chosen songs (albeit not in the order listed on the jacket) that consist of some well-selected standards as well as some obscure and interesting alternatives. The lyrics to Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn," which I think that I heard once, back in the era of automobile tail fins, are one good example. Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Mr. Kicks," the title of his 1960-ish Chicago revue, is given an animated performance. Two songs associated with Johnny Hartman, "I Just Dropped By To Say Hello" and Duke Ellington's "Don't You Know I Care," offer a polished memory. The standard "Star Eyes," immortalized by Charlie Parker, is here presented with the infrequently heard lyrics and some attractive guitar fills from Gerald (Twig) Smith.
Miss Justine has a serviceable voice and certainly does justice to these venerable melodies. She keeps it lively and the set is filled with brief solos, most notably from McKenna and trumpeter Bill Lacy.
Track Listing: Maybe, Where Do You Start, Don't You Know I Care, Goodbye, Moondance, No More, Mr.Kicks, Here's To Life, Peter Gunn, I Just Dropped By To Say Hello, Love Look Away, Star Eyes, I'll Be Seeing You.
Personnel: Miss Justine, vocals; Tom Lawton,piano; Matt Parrish, bass; Leon Jordan, drums; William (Bill)Lacy, trumpet; Larry McKenna, sax; Gerald (Twig) Smith,guitar.