GRACE KELLY WINNER OF 2006 DOWN BEAT STUDENT MUSIC AWARDS
IN FOUR CATAGORIES
ORIGINAL COMPOSITION - Fast Metabolism
JAZZ VOCALIST - Outstanding Performance
When I met Grace Kelly after my show at The Regatta Bar two years ago, I had no idea that this ten year old girl would go on to record her first CD with world class musicians only two years later.
At a time when music is almost evaporating from schools and where children are rarely exposed to our country's legacy of timeless jazz and standards, such a phenomenon as this singer-songwriter-saxophonist is indeed something to celebrate.
Hearing the six standards and jazz pieces tastefully mixed with six of Grace's original songs, is to discover the boundless spirit and
imagination of a natural artist. There is a compelling sense of ease and joy in her energy
and this girl knows how to swing as evidenced by tunes such as Nat King Cole's
"Straighten Up and Fly Right". Her voice is sweet and soulful,
bridging the vocal traditions of jazz and pop music in an authentic, original way.
Her sensitivity, control and focus as an alto saxophonist is impressive. When I played some songs of hers for the legendary drummer, Victor Lewis, he said "Wow, I love her sound." She has a warm, burnished tone that is equally pleasurable on lyrical songs like Hoagy Carmichael's classic "Stardust" and the urbane bop tune "One By One by Wayne Shorter.
What knocked me out in particular is her songwriting. The 5/4 piece "G-Bop" sounds like a jazz classic. The instrumental "Tinkerbell" is a velvety smooth jazz song that sets an
appealing, dusky mood. The title song "Dreaming" as well as "Baby, Baby" (introduced as an instrumental and reprised as a vocal) has smooth jazz overtones as well, which swoon into pop realms and evoke Grace's burgeoning romantic yearnings. Her song "On My Way Home", with lyrics written with her father Robert, is folk/pop story song hauntingly arranged with David Eure's poignant violin and Grace's pure voice echoing the images.
Backed by her mentor Ken Berman splitting tracks on piano with Doug Johnson,
John Lockwood on bass, and Guy Goodwin and Jordan Perlson splitting tracks on drums,
Grace is beautifully supported throughout the entire CD. She plays and sings with
assurance, connecting to all the delicious music of her fellow artists.
There is no telling how far this child prodigy will go with the limitless possibilities of her
voluminous talents. Grace is following her heart and that path is sure to lead her on a great adventure that all listeners, lucky enough to discover her, will relish.
Ann Hampton Callaway, New York City
February 4, 2005