Just at the time when I was feeling really low, having lost a close pal of almost 50 years, this CD appeared in the mailbox. It brought forth a smile just when I needed it.
Jude Johnson is a Canadian vocalist who hails from Hamilton, Ontario. She offers 15 great standards on this CD which is available by email or at Sam The Record Man and Indigo Book Stores in Canada. The singer's work was previously unknown to me although she has a children's television show seen on TV Ontario. Jude has been the recipient of many Canadian awards for both music and community services. This young woman exhibits a wonderful vocal range, warmth and great jazz feeling . She has a sense of timing that equals Tony Bennett.
Accompanied by pianist Carl Horton, guitarist Brian Lee Griffith and on some tracks a string quartet, Jude grabs the listener's attention from the opening song, "This Is All I Ask". Jude treats the old standards with a fresh sense of humor and reverence. On a few tracks, Jude invited veteran vocalist, Jackie Washington, to join in. Jackie is considered a bit of a national treasure to Canadian jazz fans. In the tradition of Fats Waller, Jackie brings enthusiasm and rollicking fun to the session.
Carl Horton is consistently good throughout the performance and probably had much to do with the arrangements. They perform "Bye Bye Blackbird" in a blues fashion and "Teach Me Tonight" with a "soul" feeling. Jude does a wonderful job on "Something Cool" which was always a big item for June Christy.
Some other songs are Blame It On My Youth, Ain't Misbehavin', I've Got a Crush On You, I'll Be Seeing You, I've Got Rhythm and S'Wonderful. For those of you who especially like singers who can "scat", you'll find it here.
Very nice Jude! We look forward to more.