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.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.