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Born to Swing

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Album Review

Nancy Kelly has paid her dues over her career and produced her best CD as a result of her hard work. She benefits considerably from the presence of tenor saxophonist Houston Person on this studio date, as he provides the perfect foil for her sassy vocals. Her regular rhythm section — consisting of pianist Dino Losito, bassist Neil Minor, and drummer Mark Taylor — also provides strong support. Seven of the dozen tracks she chose are standards from the 1930s through the 1950s, including a spirited take of "I've Got the World on a String," a midtempo bossa nova setting of "Like Someone in Love" (with Losito switching to electric piano), and a driving "Falling in Love with Love," the latter two with Person sitting out. The tenor saxophonist steals the show a bit in a brisk arrangement of Earl Bostic's jump blues "Let Me Off Uptown." Jimmy Webb's "Didn't We" and Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind," two pop songs from a later era, also fare well as Kelly captures the possibilities within each of them.


Born: United States

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

b. USA. As a child, Kelly showed considerable musical aptitude. Later, she studied classical piano, clarinet and voice at the Eastman School of Music. To this she added drama and dance studies. By the time that she began to make an impression on the club circuit in New York state, she had turned herself into an immensely talented all-round entertainer, singing and playing piano, bass and drums. Her repertoire is eclectic, drawing from jazz and pop, stage and cabaret; her performing style is similarly...
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Born to Swing, Nancy Kelly
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