This album was recorded directly off the mixing board at the Jazzschool on two-tracks. Our decision to record was made on the way up to San Francisco from Los Angeles. The whole session was spontaneous, unrehearsed, and played on a borrowed bass. As a matter of fact, this was only the second time most of the tunes were ever played by the group.
It doesn’t take long to hear the magic in these tracks.The musical essence created from pure passion for the music permeates every note. Some of the small talk, jokes and flubs were left in to maintain the spirit of the concert itself.
This recording is a limited release. The thoughts behind releasing these tracks came from listening to classic Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday recordings. The recording quality of those old records was really rough but the essence of the performances was pure gold. It is our sincere hope that you will hear this recording in the same way.
Kellye Gray's Bio:
“Powerful”, “imaginative”, “emotionally uplifting” are some of the adjectives critics use to describe the talents of singer Kellye Gray. Most importantly, Kellye is that breed of jazz singer who has developed a sound that is truly their own. Her style is post-modernist and she uses her voice like an instrument within the ensemble. She possesses what critics like to call - “musicianly chops”. Singing and performing since the age of five, Kellye caught the "bug" very early on in life. She has studied voice, speech, acting and music for over 20 years in Texas, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. She has released four CDs as a solo artist and has appeared on many others as a featured vocalist or as part of a compilation.
Gray, a native Texan, began her career in the most unlikely of places. She cut her teeth up and down Austin’s own Sixth Street during the 1980’s where the music was more rock and roll and covers than be-bop and swing. On a Kellye Gray date back then it was not unusual to hear Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, a Madonna or Prince cover all in the same set. But, creative choices and great taste allowed “the KGB (the Kellye Gray Band)” to attract not only a college crowd but also a more sophisticated crowd of up-and-coming baby-boomers. The group quickly became a frequent headliner at many of Austin’s festivals, like Aqua Fest and Old Pecan Street Festival. Kellye was recognized as one of the Austin Chronicle’s favorite singers and jazz groups several years in a row.
Kellye moved to Houston in 1987 performing nightly at the Blue Moon. There she developed a strong following that attracted the fledgling Justice Records to her door. She recorded Standards In Gray (Justice Records) in 1989 and the disc soared to the top of the Gavin Report as well as other jazz charts. She was named a member of the Texas Jazz Heritage Society, a group founded by the late Arnett Cobb.
While on promotional tours for Standards, Kellye fell in love with San Francisco and made her move there in 1992. Tomato Kiss (Proteus Recordings), with most of the original Texas crew from the first disc, was recorded shortly after her move to San Francisco. The magic of the that original group proved to be a good choice and again she enjoyed success as the disc rose to the top of the charts.
A move to Los Angeles in 1999 allowed her to re-connect with old friend and fellow Texan, jazz pianist Shelly Berg. The duo created several arrangements that would show up on Blue and Pink, a live concert (Proteus Recording).
Family brought Kellye back to Austin in the spring of 2001. In February 2002 Blue and Pink, a live concert (Proteus Recording) was recorded at Ovations Nitespot in Houston. This two-disc recording was released as two seperate recordings in 2002 and 2003. They can be purchased as "The Blue Songs" or "The Pink Songs". The Blue Songs contains the bossa novas, blues and ballads and The Pink Songs has the be-bops, swings, funks and avant improvisations from the two-night date. The mistakes and the magic moments are kept to bring the listener closer to actually being in the room while the concerts were recorded.
As an educator and coach she is a faculty member at The Austin School of Music, Jazz Camp West, The JazzSchool, The Monterey Jazz Festival Jazz Camp, The Jazz Institute as well as several other smaller camps, colleges and insitutions. She mentors upcoming jazz vocalists in Masters Classes held throughout the United States. Kellye's enthusiasm and passion for music and teaching allows her to incorporate a fresh new approach into her teaching style. She believes in guiding the singer to help find their true voice, while enhancing their sound with proper vocal technique for the longevity and health of their voice. She is currently developing a book that will accompany innovative weekend workshop based on exploring the creative process entitled, "Sploosh".
Miss Gray has received multiple Addy Awards for commercial radio spots as a voice talent. She volunteers regularly to charitable organizations where her name recognition and performance talents help in raising funds.
Kellye has performed for dignitaries and heads-of-sate in Washington D.C. She has had the honor of sharing the stage with a wide variety of jazz, blues and R&B stars throughout the United States and the world. She regularly tours the U.S. and Europe performing at festivals, concerts and nightclubs. Some notable mentions have been the Spoleto Festival, Stanford Jazz Festival, Houston International Festival, the Jazz and Blues Heritage Festival, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Yoshi’s, The Cinegrille, Snug Harbor, Caveau De La Huchette, The Green Mill, Cezanne and many, many more.