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Mood Changes

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Album Review

Grace Kelly has surprised the jazz world with her immense talent, even though she is still only in her teens. She has already received high praise from Phil Woods and Lee Konitz (the latter of whom appeared on her last CD). Kelly's fifth CD under her own name features her on alto, tenor, and soprano saxophone plus vocals, while she composed four songs and wrote all of the arrangements. Her enticing approach to the standard "Comes Love" utilizes a catchy vamp with overdubbed alto and soprano, producing a fresh approach to a standard that is often played with little imagination. "I'll Remember April" is mandatory for every bopper's repertoire and Kelly doesn't disappoint with her inspired workout in her breezy chart. Her bossa nova scoring of "It Might as Well Be Spring" showcases her delightful vocals. Trombonist Hal Crook is added for Kelly's demanding chart of "I Want to Be Happy," which changes keys in unexpected places and showcases the three horns in engaging interplay. The teenager's chops as a songwriter are also considerable, especially given her age. Her cheerful opener, "Happy Theme Song," bursts with joy in an upbeat setting, while she wails over her rhythm section with confidence and a touch of humor by working in a lick from "If I Only Had a Brain." "Tender Madness" is a bittersweet, touching ballad with moving solos by the leader on tenor sax, trumpeter Jason Palmer, and pianist Doug Johnson. Guitarist Adam Rogers guests on two selections. Kelly's setting of the Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere" reveals new facets to one of their lesser-known gems, though Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" remains a rather monotonous tune that Kelly manages to salvage with her surprisingly funky yet intricate alto lead. Grace Kelly is no mere flash in the pan, and her considerable gifts are blossoming with every new recording.


Genre: Jazz

Not to be confused with the famous Philadelphia-born actress who became Princess Grace of Monaco and died in 1982, the Grace Kelly profiled in this bio is a straight-ahead jazz saxophonist/singer who had several albums in her catalog before she was 17. The precocious New England native has made the alto sax her primarily instrument, but she also plays the tenor and soprano saxes -- and Kelly can play clarinet, flute, acoustic piano, and drums, as well. At times, Kelly will put down her saxophone...
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Mood Changes, Grace Kelly
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