There is a warmth and a genial, sensual quality to Kelley Johnson's vocals. Her latest CD, "Something Good," has her wonderful interpretations of ten musical gems backed by a trio, including her husband, John Hansen on piano, Michael Glynn on bass, and Kendrick Scott on piano. Jay Thomas adds his horn (saxophone or trumpet to three songs.
She has such a delightful voice as she cleanly delivers the lyrics with flawless pitch, and fluid phrasing backed by the superb rhythm section would provide the backdrop for a romantic evening. It starts with Stephen Sondheim's "Anyone Can Whistle" and followed by Richard Carpenter's "Goodbye to Love." Hanson's superb piano and Scott's percussive accents complement her reflective vocal. There is a mesmerizing quality to her charming, swinging, almost whispered singing on Cole Porter's "You Do Something To Me," and George Shearing's "Lullaby of Birdland." There is a perky quality to her interpretations another Cole Porter classic, "Let's Do It." She ably negotiates the tempo changes of Leonard Bernstein's "Some Other Time," while she places her stamp on "Unforgettable." Jay Thomas' muted trumpet here, along with the superb rhythm section, contributes to a jewel of a performance.
In addition to her sublime vocals, Kelley Johnson (and John Hanson) contributed the arrangements for these sterling performances. With the superb backing musicians, an excellent selection of songs, and her lovely, captivating singing, Kelley Johnson's "Something Good" is an exceptional vocal jazz album.