Sunday, April 17, 2022

Nancy Kelly: “Jazz Woman: The Reel To Real Sessions” (2022) CD Review

Nancy Kelly is a jazz vocalist and composer based in New York and known for her original and often soulful approach to the standards. She has performed with a great number of artists over the years, and she released her first solo album in 1988. Since then, she has put out a few more albums, the most recent being 2019’s Remembering Mark Murphy. She has garnered plenty of accolades for her recordings of other writers’ material, and now is releasing recordings of some of her own compositions. The first such release, Jazz Woman: The Reel To Real Sessions, contains two songs that she wrote early in her career but did not record until now. She did the arrangements with John Di Martino, who also plays piano and synths on these tracks. Also joining Nancy Kelly on this release are Ed Howard on bass, Freddie Hendrix on trumpet, Harry Allen on tenor saxophone, Carmen Intorre Jr. on drums and percussion, Wesley Amorim on guitar, and Jimmy Johns on vibes.

The first of the two tracks is “Jazz Woman,” which immediately establishes a cool groove. It is a playful look at a singing career, which starts in other musical realms and leads to jazz, with lines like “Danced on a stage in a furious rage/Screamed rock and roll and R&B soul” and “All through the winter I sang Donna Summer.” It all leads to that glorious discovery of jazz. This track features some excellent work on trumpet, and has a completely enjoyable feel throughout. The disc’s second track, “Move Over,” is a mellower number, with a smooth vocal approach. Check out these lyrics: “Let’s begin/I want in to your dreams and your madness/Schemes and your sadness.” This track features some wonderful work on both vibes and saxophone. There is something warm and inviting about this track. As she sings, “Let me in, let me stay,” we are welcoming her voice, her music into our homes and lives. And, yes, I’m looking forward to hearing the next disc of original material she releases.

CD Track List

  1. Jazz Woman
  2. Move Over

Jazz Woman: The Reel To Real Sessions is scheduled to be released on May 6, 2022 on SubCat Records.

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