On Jude Johnstone's latest release, Blue Light, she pours her inner being into every song with powerful lyrics complemented by beautiful arrangements set to jazz and blues accompaniment.
Jude Johnstone - Blue Light
Blue Light: Blue Light, That's Why I'm Leaving You, Best Friend, New York Morning, Never Been the Same, Good Guy, I'll Believe You, Paper Doll, Losin' Hand, Quitting Time, Walk Away, Over and Done
Personnel: Jude Johnstone: Piano, Vocals; David Piltch: Standup Bass; Danny Frankel: Drums, Bongos, Shaker, Tambourine; Matt Margucci: Trumpet, Muted Trumpet; Freddy Koelia: Guitars, Acoustic Guitar; Paul Severtson: Violin; Randy Garacci: Violin; Michael Nowak: Viola; Jeanne Shumway: Cello; Vince Mendoza: String Arrangement; Marc Macisso: Alto & Soprano Sax; Kathleen Lenski: Violin; Brynn Albanese: Violin; Tim Hosman: String Arrangement; Chuck Damonico: Standup Bass; Mark Hatch: Muted Trumpet
Blue Light, produced by Jude Johnstone, was released under the Bojak Records label. Blue Light is Jude Johnstone's third release; I reviewed her second release On A Good Day in the Music Scene section. Jude is a prolific songwriter with her two previous releases being in the pop music genre, but with Blue Light, she has moved to contemporary jazz and blues for her arrangements. Don't worry, if you are fan of Jude, she still spins a story with her lyrics while pulling at your heart with her vocals, she just does it with a jazz and a bit of blues accompaniment.
The release Blue Light is a look back at her musical influences when she was growing up. Musicians such as Sarah Vaughn, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and Glen Miller were favorites of her father and had a significant influence on her style, love for music, and the ability to draw her audience into her songs. With the passing of a friend, legendary engineer/producer Henry Lewy in 2006, there seemed to be an inner force that crept into her being and thus Blue Light was composed with a jazz and blues spin.
Jude opens up the release with the title track Blue Light and immediately she grabs your attention as she swings in the jazz rhythm, while the lyrics are a reflection of her inner soul as she sings, "Blue light, cool blue light, chasing our cares away, for one stolen night, nothing but love to say." Jude's musical range, musicianship, and diversity are heard as she masters the jazz/blues tempo and pace both on piano and through her vocals. She slows things down with the track That's Why I am Leaving You; which opens with Jude on piano singing, "You oughta love me, but it seems you're tired of me," and neatly moves to the soft brush strokes across the snare drum drawing you deeper into her misery. The track Best Friend stays with a slow direct tempo and contemporary jazz pace with a nice soprano saxophone accompaniment. For those of us blessed with having a best friend, then the lyrics to Best Friend say what we all feel but may never have said "...I would do anything for you." The track New York Morning sums up Jude Johnstone in a single line from the song, "Music and lyrics are all I need," while the title and the entire song speaks to the influences that are a part of her creativity. The track Never Been the Same has Jude's vocals digging deep into her blues roots with a deep and soulful sound.
One of the things I love about Jude's songs are that they are easy to relate to, either from a personal perspective, or from a life perspective; she has a vast understanding of the elements and what makes people ‘tick'.
Jude's arrangements on Blue Light show a completely new perspective of this talented singer/songwriter/arranger/producer; her style is getting tighter while at the same time providing the space to let the music speak for itself.
Websites where you can procure Jude Johnstone - Blue Light are Bojak Records, and CD Baby, CD Universe, Yahoo, and Over Stock; downloads available at MP3 Horde.
© December 2007. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.