Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ellen Johnson Gets Most Highly Recommended from Improvijazzation Nation

Issue #94 Reviews
Rotcod Zzaj aka Dick Metcalf

Ellen Johnson - THESE DAYS
: Female jazz singers are often "lumped" in a category (for reviewers, anyway) that says "later"... I don't know why that is, but know it often happens. A part of that could be the simple fact that there are many... well, in Ellen's case, letting the dozen tunes on her newly released CD "just slide" would be a mistake for anyone enthralled with true artistry. We reviewed another CD she produced ("A Mother's Heart) in issue #91, & were very impressed with her skills there, too. It is, of course, her voice that makes the difference & catapults the music on "These Days" to the top of the stack... what you hear is fresh & soulful, without pretense or gimmickry - excellent expression on every note! One of the most powerful tracks for this listener was "Inspiration"... simply beautiful, with great guitar by Larry Koonse & bass that stands right behind her penetrating vocal performance from Darek Oles! Oles bass lead-in on "You Don't Know What Love Is" is perfect for Ellen's silky & intimate style when she starts singing... another performance that will stay in your ears for months & years to come! In the overall, there is a real "slinky" quality to Johnson's voice that is so inviting you won't be able to move on to anything else until you've listened to the whole tune... & then the next track... & the next... & so on & so on. "These Days" is a definite jazz winner for all, players & listeners, & gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this little corner of the jazz world! Get more information at www.ellenjohnson.net/ Rotcod Zzaj

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