To paraphrase the claim once made by a well–known airline, Lisa Kelly loves to sing — and it shows. She’s clearly a Jazz singer too, altering melody, phrasing and tempo and scatting occasionally on Memories of Tomorrow to lend each song an invigorating new slant. Much as Kelly loves to sing, however, she graciously steps aside on four numbers to let hubby J.B. Scott and his colleagues have their say. Scott even does some scatting of his own (with a nod to Clark Terry) on the volatile closer, “Aggressive Passivity.” Scott wrote that one and the other instrumentals, “Annette’s Desire,” “Quasi Bop” and “Doin’ It Good.” Kelly raises the curtain with an up-tempo version of Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” on which she has fun with the melody and lyrics, scats a bit, and rides easily above the hard–working rhythm section. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things,” also taken at a rapid clip and featuring Scott’s muted trumpet and more incisive scatting by Kelly, is followed by Freddie Green’s Jazz classic, “Until I Met You” (a.k.a. “Corner Pocket”) and the first two instrumentals, “Annette’s Desire” (on which Kelly does shadow Scott’s mellow trumpet with wordless vocalese) and “Quasi Bop,” a nimble burner with Latin roots. Kelly returns with a sultry reading of “Black Coffee,” then takes the listener on a tranquil “Sea Journey” before opening up the Great American Songbook to freshen Harold Arlen / Johnny Mercer’s “That Old Black Magic” and Alan Jay Lerner / Frederick Loewe’s “I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face.” Kelly’s last vocal (and one of her best), the pensive “Memories of Tomorrow,” is sandwiched between the quartet’s sunny readings of “Doin’ It Good” and “Aggressive Passivity.” While in operatic terms Kelly would probably be labeled a mezzo–soprano who sings pianissimo (in other words, she has neither exceptional range nor power), she makes the most of every asset, the most impressive of which is her deeply personal approach to every lyric. Kelly has spent a lot of time learning her craft and paying her dues — and it shows.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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