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Nancy Kelly: Well, Alright!

The best things in life, and jazz, happen spontaneously. Which brings us directly to Ms Kelly, who again has teamed up with tenorist Houston Person. They collaborated in ’06 on Born to Swing; now their unique rapport graces a fledgling label in Bellevue, WA, Saying It With Jazz. Kelly and Person say it with eloquence, spread over eleven live tracks, backed by a highly responsive rhythm section: pianist Randy Halberstadt; bassist Jeff Johnson; and drummer Gary Hobbs.

Kelly gives a master class on every track, belting “But Not For Me” at supersonic speed, avoiding words as if they were road-blocks, but never losing the jazz pulse. Person quotes from “Third Man Theme;’ Halberstadt offers his own, from “Surrey With the Fringe.” Kelly comes roaring back for the out chorus, resorting to scat for the title.

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