Home » Jazz Articles » Gemma Sherry: Let's Get Serious

Album Review

Gemma Sherry: Let's Get Serious


Sign in to view read count
Gemma Sherry: Let's Get Serious
A perfect response to challenge and change.

In the parlance of the agrarian American South, Gemma Sherry is "makin' hay while the sun shines. Let's Get Serious is the singer's light-as-air, coquettishly coy wink at the COVID-19 pandemic—a wink as opposed to any other response, as Sherry is a true Lady. The title of her third full-length (in 2020 alone) recording is deliciously ironic as the tone is anything but. Globally, this release is best defined in the Nat King Cole classic "Straighten Up and Fly Right:" light, sophisticated, ready-made for entertainment and consideration.

Sherry showed up in 2020 with Songs I Love (Tunley Records), a collection of carefully selected standards that define exactly Sherry's musical inspirations. Sherry exposes her heart from the beginning with songs clearly important to her. The singer follows this debut with the surprise Gemma Sherry Sings Bossa Nova (Tunley Records, 2020), singing these Brazilian classics with a pristine voice.

Sherry has two great artistic advantages: a perfect ear for melody and a voice so clearly realized and experienced that she could sing a telephone book, should one exist anymore. In that metaphor, her repertoire is derived from a similar, simpler time when martinis were served dry, asked for or not. She encompasses classic beauty and urbanity. This is Mad Men music, has the series been more light-hearted.

Sherry expands her band stable with names new to her but not at large. Guitarist Paul Bollenbeck, pianist Rick Germanson, drummer George Coleman, and bassist Eric Wheeler. Wanting to select from lesser covered songs, the singer, nevertheless, plants some well-known ringers. Devoting much of the recording to songs like "The Alley Cat Song," "Try Your Wings," and "Doodlin' Song" and other tunes enjoying only sparse attendings over the last 50 years, Sherry includes "Give Me The Simple Life" and "Straighten Up and Fly Right" as proof of her grounding. She surprises with an innocently flirtatious performance of the Carole King-Gerry Goffin "Go Away Little Boy." The singer closes things with "The Doodling Song," featuring vibraphonist Joseph Doubleday, sung with coquettish delight.

Let's Get Serious is Gemma Sherry's artistic gift to a worn world, one with hope and grace built in, so we remember what to expect on the other side of challenge.

Track Listing

Blossom's Blues; Give Me The Simple Life; Too Much In Love To Care; Try Your Wings; The Alley Cat Song; The Gentleman Is a Dope; Why Don't You Do Right; Whatever Lola Wants; Straighten Up And Fly Right; Go Away Little Boy; The Doodlin' Song.


Gemma Sherry: voice / vocals; Paul Bollenback: guitar; Rick Germanson: piano; Eric Wheeler: bass; George Coleman Jr.: drums; Joseph Doubleday: vibraphone.

Album information

Title: Let's Get Serious | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Tunley Records

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album



Le Tre Sorelle
Alla Boara
Fred Moten, Brandon López, Gerald Cleaver


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.