Vocalist Nancy Kelly is one of those artists one can always count on for producing muscular and assertive jazz. On B That Way, Kelly is supported by an organ-guitar trio featuring tenor saxophone. Such a format affords an expanse of sound from the intimacy of a piano trio to the full-throated roar of a big band. "Come Back to Me" opens the disc with such a roar, Kelly stretching her alto taut and fine. Kelly-collaborator, organist Dino Losito, keeps the project between the ditches, dishing up plenty of grease sans the saturated fats.
Guitarist Peter Bernstein reduces things to a common element with his introspective solo on "Don't Explain." Bernstein spars with Kelly on the Charlie parker classic "Billie's Bounce." Kelly addresses the bebop tune this authority and command and Bernstein gets his chance to stretch his bop chops as well. Tenor saxophonist Jerry Weldon summons the spirit of Lucky Thompson for his two chorus before Losito puts a period on the interior of the piece.
Kelly swings "Day In Day Out" with a relaxed, conversational flair. Weldon swings as hard with a straight-ahead solo that orbits the melody with happy aplomb. The band lays down a jaunty aire for "Please Don't Talk about Me When I'm Gone." Kelly struts and preens on the song, taking full command, flat belting it out. A solid singer with impressive bona vides, Nancy Kelly turns in one of the better vocal outings with year. Let's hope for more.
Track Listing: Come Back to Me; Don’t Explain; Common Touch; Here’s Looking at You; the Great City; Don’t Go To Strangers; Day in Day Out; Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me; Please Don’t Talk About Me when I’m Gone; The Very Thought of You; Good Morning Heartache.
Personnel: Nancy Kelly: vocals; Dino Losito: Hammond organ; Peter Bernstein: guitar; Jerry Weldon: tenor saxophone; Carmen Intorre: drums.
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