Kelly Harland

Long Ago And Far Away, Kelly Harland Sings The Music of Jerome Kern

origin 82509

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

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With a full album dedicated to Jerome Kern's contributions to the Great American Songbook, it's not terribly surprising that Kelly Harland should come across as a bit of a torch singer. Luckily though, Harland's got stronger abilities than the average torch singer. Where so many female jazz singers try to spice up the songbook with a little power and show, or try to vamp up the songbook like Eartha Kitt followers, Harland simply sings with a straightforward approach and a sweet voice. Of course, the compositions themselves are all first-class, as one would expect with this kind of focus. The rhythm section (pianist Bill Mays and bassist Chuck Deardorf) provides able accompaniment, with a streak of outstanding exploration here and there (just wait for the solos from both in "The Song Is You"). For fans of female jazz vocalists who are just a bit tired of the standard lounge-based torch singer, Kelly Harland should provide an excellent reprieve, with more sensitivity to the lyrics and the music itself. Paying proper respect to the music rather than strong-arming the songs just to show off pays off beautifully.






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