Kelley Johnson's yet another singer mining the GASbook and she seems to have struck gold going by DownBeat's assessment "...wisps of Carmen McRae's ginger snap, Betty Carter's yawning reach, Anita O'Day's feline purr and Nancy Wilson's crystaline enunciation."
Wow! unlike DB I'm lost for words - crystaline enunciation - I'll file that one for future reference!
So, take the above as read, I'll merely add that it's a rather fine album. Karen Carpenter singing Goodbye To Love has long been one of my favourites and I'd often imagined it being sung by a jazzier singer. Well, Kelley steps up to the plate and, maybe she didn't hit it out of the park like Karen did in her own genre, but it didn't strike out either. The scat choruses certainly had that ginger snap and, if nothing else, KJ has moved the song into the repertoire and it will be interesting to see if any other jazz peeps take her lead.
Let's Do it brings in a few of the lesser known verses by Cole and it has a lovely swing to it.
No mistake, Ms. Johnson is the business and it's not just her crystaline enunciation that makes her a contender but also the feeling she has for the lyric, that ability to get inside a song, the sense that the title sums it up - Something Good.
And there's also something good going on around her. Piano, bass and drums - Kendrick Scott! - absolutely solid with Hansen, who collaborated with Johnson on the arrangements, superb. The icing comes in the form of Jay Thomas who not only blows tenor and sop sax but also chips in on trumpet - do the union pay him triple scale?.