All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

100

Kelley Johnson: Make Someone Happy

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Singer Kelley Johnson has a relaxed manner and a brassy aura that speaks clearly to the listener who wants to appreciate lyrics and become immersed in a song’s attitude. Searingly effective on slow, deliberate, dramatic ballads, such as "I Haven’t Got Anything Better To Do" and "Moment to Moment," the singer points every phrase and shapes every note to make it linger in the air. Elsewhere, as on "Solitude" and "Throw it Away," the singer presents a limp affair that will purposefully cloud your blue skies. However, the latter, by Abbey Lincoln, would seem to cry out for more clouds and a stronger, darker statement of the angst expressed by lyrics such as:

"Throw it away, you can throw it away.
Give your love, live your life each and every day.
So keep your hands wide open, let the sun shine through.
You can never lose a thing if it belongs to you."

Sharing the piano duties, Fred Hersch and John Hansen join bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Lewis Nash for solid support. Two of the finest in today’s mainstream, Grenadier and Nash share the solo spotlight on "Falling in Love With Love."

"Recorda Me" folds in a lovely flugelhorn solo by Greg Gisbert, while Brian Lynch graces "Stompin’ at the Savoy" with a tender trumpet interlude and fours with Johnson’s scatting. Guitarist Paul Meyers shares a slow cool bossa with the singer, while Steve Wilson blends a mellow alto saxophone solo characteristically with Johnson’s "September in the Rain." Hersch, Grenadier, and Nash help the singer create "So Many Stars" to reign as the session’s highlight. An all-around vocalist, Kelley Johnson shares a jazz singer’s arsenal with the listener and blends perfectly with the ensemble. Biographical information about this singer may be found at http://www.speakeasy.net/nwjazz/bios/johnson1.html .


Track Listing: How Long Has This Been Going On?; Moment to Moment; I Haven

Personnel: Kelley Johnson- vocals; Fred Hersch, John Hansen- piano; Larry Grenadier- acoustic bass; Lewis Nash- drums; Steve Wilson- alto saxophone; Greg Gisbert- flugelhorn, trumpet; Brian Lynch- trumpet; Mike Davis- trombone; Paul Meyers- guitar.

Title: Make Someone Happy | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Sapphire

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Say It CD/LP/Track Review
Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Alchemia Garden CD/LP/Track Review
Alchemia Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Don't You Wish CD/LP/Track Review
Don't You Wish
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Morphogenesis" CD/LP/Track Review Morphogenesis
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "#Office for the Day" CD/LP/Track Review #Office for the Day
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: December 1, 2017
Read "Black Swan" CD/LP/Track Review Black Swan
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 15, 2018
Read "Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello" CD/LP/Track Review Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello
by John Eyles
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "Duality: Particles & Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Duality: Particles & Waves
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 16, 2017