Julie Kelly's new release, Happy to Be, offers up a feast of storytelling that draws from classic vocal jazz, bebop roots and fresh originals. Whether singing her own lyrics to the rollicking "Blues According to Orpheus" or chiming though the narratives of Phoebe Snow's "Harpo's Blues" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Corcovado", Julie's vocals never fail to capture all the senses at once. In her deft hands, song and story embrace, entwine and unerringly enchant.
Julie Kelly: vocals Clay Jenkins: trumpet Ron Stout: flugelhorn Bob McChesney: trombone Bob Sheppard: tenor saxophone, flute Kim Richmond: tenor saxophone Bill Cunliffe: piano, synthesizer Anthony Wilson: guitar Tom Warrington: bass Joe La Barbera: drums Walter Rodriguez: percussion Nick Mancini: vibes Special Guest: vocalist John Proulx (courtesy of Max Jazz Records)
This new offering, Happy to Be, by vocalist Julie Kelly captivates with a mixture of fresh originals and re-imagined vocal classics. Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Kate McGarry calls this CD nothing less than a "brilliant alchemy".
Happy to Be is a collaboration between Grammy Award-winning pianist Bill Cunliffe, jazz impresario Barbara Brighton and vocalist Julie Kelly.
The result is a fresh journey into the jazz vocal universe with songs both known and just-discovered.
Happy to Be features arrangements by Los Angeles' most provocative jazz artists: Otmaro Ruiz, Bill Cunliffe, wunderkind Jacob Mann, and more. Original songs are featured throughout written by Jim Tomlinson, (singer Stacey Kent's husband,) acclaimed vocalists Inga Swearingen, Fleurine and Julie herself.