Nalley is one of the few singers on the West Coast with the dramatic presence and stylistic breadth to pull off a tribute that captures Simone's entire oeuvre.
A tribute to inspirational Nina Simone
S.F. SINGER-CLUB OWNER UNDER JAZZ LEGEND'S SPELL
By Andrew Gilbert
Special to the Mercury News
When Kim Nalley decided to honor Nina Simone shortly after the regal singer's death in 2003, Nalley saw it as a personal gesture to an artist who had influenced and inspired her since childhood.
Kim Nalley - Mesmerizing! Beyond the Chron
FIVE GREAT REASONS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH KIM NALLEY
She’s as dramatic as La Boheme … She’s Carmen … She’s remarkable … She’s exhilarating and she’s a Cultural touchstone! AND…SHE SANG THE STIRRING “Mississippi Goddamn!” – and when she sings it – she means it.
Singer Kim Nalley Notes Favorite S.F. Spots
Kim Nalley is a critically lauded San Francisco jazz and blues singer who has
performed Gershwin with the San Francisco Symphony and produced
sensational musical tributes to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. In June, she
will start a two-month residency at the Rrazz Room at the Hotel Nikko,
taking on the music and life of Nina Simone. The former owner of the
North Beach club Jazz at Pearl's, Nalley is a faculty member at the Jazzschool
and a history student in UC Berkeley's doctorate program. She's as famous for
her immaculate style as her remarkable range. We asked the Nob Hill resident
to tell us about some of her favorite Bay Area spots...San Francisco Chronicle
Nalley was an absolute joy. Review: Joy to the World
San Francisco's Nalley turned in an absolutely gorgeous performance, but it wasn't just her top-shelf vocals. Nalley has a 3 1/2-octave range and the kind of vocal thrust that could strip the varnish off furniture, but Nalley never tried to dazzle anyone with any audio acrobatics. Charleston Gazette
Jazz to the World With a Voice as Big as the Sea: Preview Article
Aside from her appearance at the Culture Center, she has several shows booked at one of her favorite haunts, The Rrazz Room at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco. The holiday shows there have become a sort of grownup tradition for Nalley and led to a special Christmas CD, "Christmas Time Is Here," which she says captures part of the experience of those shows.
Kim Nalley Song/Storybook Delights Kuumbwa Audiences
The holiday portion of the program, who would have expected it? Apparently all who attended her performance a year ago at Kuumbwa, as Santa Baby appeared by request and her sexy Eartha Kitt/Betty Boop take on it was a great hit, as was a hysterical Hanukkah in Santa Monica. -The Exhibitionist Maureen Davidson
Channeling The Other Ella
Kim Nalley is one of jazz's great spelunkers, a dedicated explorer who delves into forgotten musical crevices to emerge with long-neglected songs and stories. https://www.santacruz.com/author/andrew-gilbert
Brava Interprete all vocalisti nera....Giovanni Tomasso and Kim Nalley
Nalley, at her young age, is already a San Francisco institution
Things are looking up for Kim Nalley, the sultry singer on the hill
By Bruce Bellingham. Northside Magazine
These days it seems that the only times Kim Nalley has the blues is when she
sings them on stage. Blues tunes or no, Nalley’s singing is as smooth as
warm Brie on sourdough. She can sing anything. I saw her one night
mesmerize the house by performing folk tunes on her guitar.
Nalley, at her young age, is already a San Francisco institution. Her life has
changed a lot recently, and she’s only too happy to tell you about it. She has
sold her club, Jazz at Pearl’s, which she owned with former husband. There’s
a tyranny about being a club owner, she says. She’s pleased to be rid of it. She
says her life “was a shambles a year ago,” but things are pretty peachy right now.
Nalley has been compared to Billie Holiday in her stage demeanor, but her voice is far more expansive with a range that reaches nearly four octaves. Michael Tilson Thomas heard her singing at the now-vanished Alta Plaza restaurant in Pacific Heights, and hired her to sing Gershwin with the San Francisco Symphony. You don’t hear stories like that too often.
Not only is she a vibrant, remarkably versatile singer, she’s an actress and a writer. Nalley has a degree in history from UC Berkeley, and she recently studied English literature at Oxford. She’s writing a play, “Ella: The American Dream,”that’s slated for its premiere in January 2010. She also blogs regularly for JazzWest.
Lezioni di Jazz
Kim Nalley Pearl of San Francisco
16 июля (четверг) 2009 года Kim Nalley - вокал, США и Трио Андрея Кондакова
Макс Тимошин и продюсерская компания tMotion представляет
16 июля 2009 года
Kim Nalley - вокал, США
и Трио Андрея Кондакова
в проекте «Jazz In Motion»
Жемчужина джаза, выращенная в перламутровой раковине Сан-Франциско. Звезда собственного уникального стиля «Sweet 'n' Sassy». «Красиво и Дерзко»! - Это однозначно про неё. Вокалистка Ким Нелли. В её характеристике – потрясающе чувство свинга и музыкальность широчайшего диапазона. В её манере – блюзовые глубины Бесси Смит и высочайший мелодизм Эллы Фитцджеральд. Голос Ким Нелли, её дух, её образ – заполняют собой всю сцену и заставляют светиться от восторга зрительный зал!
Известно, что сегодня ни одна экскурсия по Сан-Франциско не обходится без визита на концерт Ким Нелли. Певица – местная достопримечательность! Одна из тех миллионов, кто приезжает в этот город за славой. Одна из тех единиц, кто её добиваются. Вообще-то, Ким запросто могла бы стать оперной дивой – голосовой диапазон в три с половиной октавы это позволяют. Но ещё во время обучения в Центре Искусств города Нью-Хейвен, её душа – пела джаз. Голосу – пришлось подчиниться. Телу – пришлось двигаться к океану. В Сан-Франциско есть, у кого поучиться вокальному мастерству: Нелли не пропускала ни одного джем-сейшена в местных джаз-клубах. Как сказал про неё гениальный саксофонист Фил Вудс: «Эта девочка пошла пусть и старомодной, но правильно дорогой». И однажды – эта дорога привела Ким к заслуженному успеху. Сольное выступление темнокожей красавицыКим Нелли в престижном зале «Alta Plaza» – обсуждала на следующее утро вся музыкальная пресса.
Вердикт был един – звезда родилась! Так открываются кулисы великих концертных площадок. Выступления шли одно за другим!Ким аплодировали Линкольн Центр и Метрополитен Опера! Её ждали джазовые фестивали в Монтрё, Монреале и Нью-Йорке! Она привозила сольные шоу в Токио, Стокгольм и Ванкувер! В начале 2000 года – певица вновь доказала свою уникальность. На взлёте карьеры она переехала в Европу! По словам певицы – ей нужны были новые эмоции. Три года Нелли путешествовала по старинным городам и заповедным курортам. Искала вдохновения в австрийских Альпах и голландских ночных клубах. В начале 2003-го года – её триумфальное возвращение в Сан-Франциско отметил каждый значительный таблоид. Клуб «Jazz at Pearl's», который открыла Ким – почти мгновенно стал иконой джазовой жизни великого мегаполиса. Кто там только ни побывал! Звёзды шоу-бизнеса, легенды спорта, бесконечные туристы и даже несколько важных клерков из Силиконовой Долины. На этой волне успеха, в апреле 2006-го года, Нелли выпустила дебютный сольный альбом «She Put A Spell On Me». 10-ть мелодий, достойных шорт-листа премии ГРЕММИ и первых позиций в чарте «Jazz Top 40»!.
А как она поёт хиты Билли Холидей! Даже в театре, несколько сезонов подряд, Ким исполняли её роль. Но во время сольного шоу Москве, Ким Нелли не ограничится репертуаром легендарной Леди Дэй. В компании трио знаменитого пианиста Андрея Кондакова, она блеснёт всеми гранями своего таланта. Певице будет на что опереться. За её спиной – 30-ть лет профессиональной джазовой карьеры Андрея Кондакова, его богатейший опыт выступлений с величайшими звёздами джаза, его искромётный, утончённый джазовый стиль. И не будет ошибкой, если союз этих потрясающих артистов заключить в уже известные музыкальные рамки:
«Sweet 'n' Sassy». «Красиво и Дерзко»! - Это однозначно про них.
Концерт Ким Нелли и Трио Андрей Кондакова состоится в рамках проекта «Jazz In Motion» - серии еженедельных концертов лучших российских и зарубежных джазовых музыкантов на одной из самых уютных и стильных площадок столицы. Признанные корифеи и восходящие звезды, последователи старой школы и экспериментаторы, открывающие новые современные направления - «Jazz In Motion» дарит публике великолепный джаз во всех его проявлениях!
Standing Ovation Greets Kim Nalley Cafe Americain at the Boiler Room in Idaho.
Nothing quite prepared me for what I experienced last night at Sun Valley Resort's Boiler Room, jaw-droppingly talented Kim Nalley -- she ABSOLUTELY OWNS that stage, body and soul the second she gets on it!!
Kim Nalley swings like Ella - sweet, but subtle
Kim Nalley, the sensational San Francisco jazz singer whose new musical play, "Ella: The American Dream," tells the story of the homeless teenage hoofer who became America's most celebrated jazz vocalist. -San Francisco Chronicle
Kim Nalley a Joyful Billie
Kim Nalley doesn't just sell a song. Her body dancing as her remarkably full and flexible voice sails all around and through the melody, Nalley sells the whole room - and then some.
You don't need those gardenias in her hair to realize that her tuneful, buoyant, sexy and joyfully jazzy Rrazz Room debut is one helluva tribute to Billie Holiday.
That's right, joyful. Anyone looking for an evening with the cracked husk of a voice but still fine stylings of Holiday's final years will have to go elsewhere. Hurwitt for the San Francisco Chronicle
Kim Nalley and Rhoda Scott
Kim Nalley, internationally acclaimed vocalist, presents Billie Holiday's songbook in four performances at The Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason, SF, from August 20-23. Kim will also perform two late shows with jazz organist Rhoda Scott on Aug 21 and 22. Her "Heart of Lady Day" shows are at 8 PM, with the Sunday show at 7 PM. Broadway world.com
If Dinah Washington had lived in the soul era, she'd sound like Kim Nalley.
In 1999 she gained national attention through the release of Million Dollar Secret (Rounder). Jazz lovers had finally found a singer who combined the grace of Billie Holiday with the tartness and vim of Dinah Washington and Helen Humes. There is no need to sidle up to Nalley; she grabs you from bar one. The timbre is distinctive; the voice is full and commanding. New York Press Magazine
KIM NALLEY NAILS IT IN BILLIE HOLIDAY TRIBUTE at Metropolitan Room!
Nalley doesn’t imitate Holiday, but leaves a Ghostly presence of the famous, but troubled star. All in All – Kim Nalley is Electrifying! The show is compelling, heartbreaking and amusing. Don’t even think of missing it!
Hailed internationally as among the world's top jazz vocalists , sublime, gorgeous, Kim Nalley simply blows everyone away with absolute vocal opulence, unparalleled control, and hypnotic stage presence. Robert Bozina Santa Clara University
Her scat singing is as rhythmically fluid and melodically inventive as a bebop saxophonist, though she can also deliver a ravishing ballad with a finely honed sense of drama.She's equally commanding belting a double-entendre-laden blues as she is crooning a sultry standard. Mercury News
SASSY Vocalist KIM NALLEY performed ... AHHH, the fabulous HOT vocalist, former co-owner of Jazz at PEARL'S,
seen in RARE PERFORMANCE - 3 HOURS - singing gospel, blues, jazz, ballads, gyrating at the mike, danced with a few gents on the scene, between Larry's solos, back to the mike. Kim was AWESOME, FREE from marriage and the chores of running a club, able to concentrate on her singing! .BLOWN AWAY with her GOSPEL flair singing “When The Saints Come Marching In,” Beyond the Chron
Known for her sublime performances, limitless capacity to swing and mischievous sparkle, you can count on Nalley to entertain and enthrall an audience as she uses her compelling three-and-a-half octave voice to ignite everything from blues and ballads to up-tempo cookers. She has performed at many of the most prestigious jazz festivals both nationally and internationally, including Monterey Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz Festival and The Lincoln Center. Monterey County The Herald
Vivacious vocalist is a captivating performer: Sea Stars
When it comes to jazz styles, Kim Nalley contains multitudes. The vivacious vocalist is a captivating performer who knows how to seize an audience’s attention. Equally effective belting a suggestive blues piece as delivering a sultry standard, Nalley can scat with authority, often improvising harmonically complex, melodically inventive lines. She’s also developed into a superlative ballad singer. Monterey County Weekly
Kim Nalley's sold-out one night stand at Spreckels a real treat
What it takes to pack the house is a performer gifted with the magnetism Kim Nalley owns in abundance. Vocalist Nalley took her show on the road to Spreckels Performing Arts Center for a one-night stand with her quartet, Saturday night and the 511-seat theater was sold out. Scoring a standing room-only in a one-night show here is a real rarity. - The Community Voice: Rohnert Park, Penngrove & Cotati
Nalley brings a freshness and bravery to her music. Nalley is never satisfied with one color; she digs into the music, exploring the lyric and finding a spectrum to portray, making her concert above all a celebration of a style that, itself, always manages to find a smile. -The Cabaret Exchange
When Bay Area jazz singer Kim Nalley takes the stage Saturday for an evening of Billie Holiday songs, she plans to do more than just hit the right notes. She aims to set the record straight. -The Press Democrat
Kim Nalley hits a high note with sold-out 'Ella' run
The hottest jazz ticket in Northern California this month appears to Kim Nalley’s production, “Ella: The American Dream” running through January 17 at Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma. -The Examiner
KQED To Do List Cy Musiker, David Wiegand
Jazz singer taking the daunting task of recreating the sound and life of Ella Fitzgerald. Kim Nalley has written her own show and it looks at the early years of Ella and the Savoy Ballroom. Ella is the best Jazz singer ever and Kim ain't so bad either so it should be a great pairing!
God Bless the Child
Kim Nalley keeps Billie Holiday’s music alive
It takes a brave singer to take on her canon, but San Francisco’s Kim Nalley has made a career doing just that. Tonight she brings her act to the Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club. Prepare to enter The Heart of Lady Day. - Miami New Times
The Glam Diva Behind the City's Jumpingest Joint
Kim Nalley Owns the Room
With red-hot Jazz at Pearl's, a glamorous former Deadhead has created the classiest nightclub in town.
With her smooth skin and gleaming black bob, in her tight, full-length black evening dress and string of plump pearls, Nalley is dazzling. You could hear an olive drop into a martini. No one except Nalley is moving as she glides across the floor, giving a friendly glance to one regular, a nod of the head to someone else. Part songstress, part hostess, the thirtysomething Nalley, with her stylish, brassy elegance, owns this crowd. Nalley, glamorous, garrulous, dramatic, like a diva of the 1950s has a thing for a by-gone time when swing came easier, the light seemed softer, the men were as cool as Sinatra, the women as classy and brash as Lena Horne. San Francisco Magazine (Cover Story)
Singer Kim Nalley Wows Downtown Jazz Festival
It takes guts for a singer to do a retrospective on the work of Nina Simone. Well, either Kim Nalley has no fear, or she is damn good at not showing it. As remarkable as the concert itself—given with Nalley’s traditional sultry, sensual range—is that the singer was able to pull it off in the outdoor plaza while competing with passing buses, chattering children, and the occasional hip-hop beat coming from open car windows on Shattuck Avenue. That, if anything, marks the distinct difference between Nalley and Nina. Simone was the epitome of the proud diva, famous for sometimes halting her performances in mid-stanza to turn her eye on a couple conversing in low tones in the front row, fixing them with an icy stare, and remarking, coldly, “Oh, don’t mind me. I’ll wait until you’re finished.” Nalley has a different type of performance presence, drawing listeners into a special singing circle surrounding her that seems to magically mute any outside thoughts or sounds. By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor Berkeley Daily Planet
Nalley has pipes to burn
KIM NALLEY SINGS NINA SIMONE
Nina Simone may have been a more powerful voice for change than for singing. Kim Nally, on the other hand, has pipes to burn and works the stage like she means it. Her shows flesh out her "She Put a Spell on Me" CD, and her band - Tammy Hall on piano, Greg Skaff on guitar, Michael Zisman on bass and Kent Bryson on drums - sizzles. $20, VIP tickets $100-$150. 8 and 10 p.m. Through Aug. 12 and Aug. 17-19. Jazz at Pearl's, 256 Columbus Ave., San Francisco. (415) 291-8255, www.jazzatpearls.com .
With a flowing tone, an articulate delivery and a formidable understanding of musical principles and history, Nalley is comfortable in many a vocal setting.
WITH HER symmetrical hairstyle and dark wool coat, vocalist Kim Nalley looks like a big-band singer from a previous era. Bundled up and sipping a glass of wine on the patio of a North Beach restaurant, she also resembles a spy in a World War II movie. -Metroactive Music
Glam Diva Behind the City's Jumpingest Joint
With her smooth skin and gleaming black bob, in her tight, full-length black evening dress and string of plump pearls, Nalley is dazzling. You could hear an olive drop into a martini. No one except Nalley is moving as she glides across the floor, giving a friendly glance to one regular, a nod of the head to someone else. Part songstress, part hostess, the thirtysomething Nalley, with her stylish, brassy elegance, owns this crowd.- San Francisco Magazine
The blissfully tuneful, versatile voice and stylings of Kim Nalley provide perfect accompaniment
for the rich verbal music in George C. Wolfe’s comic-poignant adaptation of three stories by Zora Neal Hurston
-San Francisco Chronicle
"Spunk" at Lorraine Hansberry: What lifts the three stories from the page besides Nalley's pretty legs...
Rocking chairs sit idle on the porch. A fence borders the perimeter and the house has multiple rooms, a table in the one. The place is "O, Way Down Nearby" in a time "Round About Long Go." The cast comes on stage singing a rhetorical: "How Do You Get to the Git" as if the answer were a Mapquest or Google maps search away. -Wanda Sabir The Sun
Nalley is a show all by herself.
As a bonus, singer Nalley is a show all by herself. Not only does she stop the show SPUNK on several occasions with her towering voice and enormous stage presence, but she also wrote several of the songs in the piece. -Contra Costa Times
Kim Nalley performs with Gritty Grace
Kim Nalley is a kind of singing narrator, performing the original songs and a couple of her own compositions with a gritty grace.
Kim Nalley is outstanding as Blues Speak Woman
SPUNK: THREE TALES BY ZORA NEALE HURSTON
by jeanne powell
Kim Nalley as Blues Speak Woman and Rodney Street as Guitar Man in Spunk: Three Tales by Zora Neale Hurston, playing at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, directed by Darryl V. Jones. Photo by Curtis Barnes.
Kim Nalley, a modern-day blues singer Weekly Pick SPUNK
Spunk actually collects three other Hurston tales (including a comic, slang-based Lenox Avenue misadventure) within a musical narrative framework by Kim Nalley, a modern-day blues singer (put it this way: Nalley knows her Lady Day).
Nalley's a definite knockout with powerhouse blues pipes
The music of the 1930s Harlem streets and the rural deep South enlivens the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre's stage in the aptly named "Spunk." -San Francisco Chronicle
Pretty with a spirited smile and eyes that can twinkle or turn movingly soulful, Nalley is poised and accomplished, and she moves well-her body conveys emotion. She is quite a good actress, sexy and flirty in Act One and affectingly poignant in Act two. Fortunately, Kim Nalley sings them. She is not Billie Holiday-Holiday was one of the most famously limited singers (part of the wonder of her achievement is that she did so much with a voice of narrow range and power) and Nalley clearly has it over her in the quality of her instrument - but she sounds at moment uncannily like her, and she’s terrific even when she doesn’t, when she lets herself shine through.
Kim Nalley is Billie Holiday in Lady Day In Love by Bruce Bellingham
There are moments in Kim Nalley's Performance as the legendary Billie Holiday in Lady Day In Love, now running at the Fellowship Theatre guild on Larkin (at Broadway), when she sounds uncannily like the star crossed singer. But beyond that, Kim has a way of taking the pathos, the tragedy, the toughness, and certainly the genius that Lady Day had and making it her own.
Nalley's Impressionism lends a subtle radiance
And the difficulty of portraying Billie the singer and the woman has been taken solved by the presence of vocalist Kim Nalley (who's also proprietor of Jazz At Pearl's in North Beach), who not only sings 15 of Lady Day's numbers wonderfully, but manages to convey something of the sense of her character, by turns demure and tough, as much through suggestion as through any kind of overly studied scheme
All About Jazz She Put a Spell
With this tribute to the life and career of Nina Simone, San Francisco-based singer Kim Nalley fills the room with expressed emotion. Recorded live at Pearlâ€™s, She Put a Spell On Me jumps with the rhythms and melodies that captured our hearts during Simoneâ€™s lifetime. The pianist, folk singer, protest singer and jazz singer, known to us as the High Priestess of Soul, left an indelible mark. Simone deserves hundreds of tributes like this one.
A beautiful rendition of "The Very Thought of You" with exemplary accompaniment from David Hazeltine
San Francisco vocalist Kim Nalley sat in for a beautiful rendition of "The Very Thought of You" with exemplary accompaniment from Hazeltine and then swung a straight ahead blues with the band. The satisfying set ended with Hazeltine's soulful We All Loved Eddie Harris.
If you close your eyes, Nalley's voice uncannily sounds like Holiday's, especially in those gritty sultry moments
With 16 well-loved Billie Holiday songs performed by SF Jazz singer Kim Nalley (owner of Jazz at Pearl's in North Beach), what's not to like in this new version of Lady Day in Love by C.H. Verburg? This play with music focuses on the years when Miss Holiday was a rising jazz star, and it's now playing at the Fellowship Theatre Guild.
Jazz singer Kim Nalley teams with music legend Rhoda Scott for concert at Copia
The two jazz luminaries are slated to perform at 8 p.m. Saturday - Scott one of the few women who excel on jazz organ, Nalley a popular Bay Area vocalist currently celebrating the release of her latest compact disc, a salute to jazz legend Nina Simone.
Fresh: Classically trained vocalist Kim Nalley still claims Betty Boop as an influence.
Rebirth of the Cool
North Bay Bohemian - Sonoma,CA,USA
By Yoshi Kato. With her symmetrical hairstyle and dark wool coat, vocalist Kim Nalley looks like a big-band singer from a previous era. ...
Organist, vocalist team up for once-in-a-lifetime event
Napa Valley Register - Napa,CA,USA
... Those of us who frequent San Francisco's North Beach have come to know the sassy, soulful vocalist Kim Nalley, not only for her articulative song stylings but ...
Nalley is everything American Idol is not. Either you know how to own a room or you don't. Nalley owns it.
On Wednesday night, while apparently the entire country tuned in to watch tone-deaf Back Street Boys wannabes warble on American Idol, the locals did something else. We packed the room at Pearl's to watch local hero Kim Nalley launch her new CD of Nina Simone covers.
Lady of the House Nalley is a triple threat -- a powerful blues singer, a song stylist who can put her stamp on American songbook standards and an assertively lascivious vaudevillian with an entire book of bawdy songs brimming with double entendres. Tilted back in his chair so that the front legs hover several inches off the bandstand, Allen Smith angles his trumpet up toward vocalist Kim Nalley, his mouthpiece poised at his calloused lips as he waits for just the right moment to join the musical conversation with an incisive phrase. SF Chronicle
Ladies Sing the Blues
On Friday and Saturday, vocalist Kim Nalley is reconstituting "Ladies Sing the Blues," a showcase she designed for herself, Denise Perrier, Frankye Kelly and Lady Mem'fis, all accomplished, confident and crowd-pleasing vocalists. SF Chronicle
Homecoming sounds sweet to Kim Nalley, who's headliner at festival, new owner of Pearl's
An African proverb -- "If you can talk, you can sing; if you can walk, you can dance" is a saying that jazz vocalist Kim Nalley loves because it sums up her philosophy on singing.
A DeLuxe septet plus one
THE JIVE is jumpin' all over town these nights, but nowhere is it so magnificently set as at the Club DeLuxe, Haight near Ashbury streets, on Friday nights when the Johnny Nocturne Band and singer Kim Nalley take over.
Phil Elwood The Examiner
Nalley really bluesed it up, pouring syrup on every syllable.
The National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund held their 7th annual gala at the Great American Music Hall with an awards ceremony and special rock and jazz performances by the Devilettes, Jacqui Naylor, and Kim Nalley, emceed for the third year by Dana Adkins, formerly of Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon
Rapt Life-long fans made in 10 minutes.
WHEN THE SAUCY KIM NALLEY SASHAYED UP TO THE MIC, IT WAS ALL OVER. GORGEOUS AND VIBRANT
She did it again! Kim Plays Guitar.
Stormy Weather Benefit Review. After several up-tempo acts, Kim Nalley, owner of the one of the best voices in town, took to the stage with an acoustic guitar and accompanied herself.
Nalley's got your Blues right Here!
At "Ladies Sing the Blues," local chanteuses Denise Perrier, Kim Nalley, and Lady Mem'fis offer up two shows. "
"Ladies Sing the Blues" Best Concerts of the 2004
THE YEAR'S BEST CONCERTS
MARIAN LIU, Mercury News
Besides the Beyonce lineup and the past No Doubt one (with Garbage and the Distillers), there are few all-female-fronted bills. This show showed that women can rise to the challenge with the best of them, and add a little attitude. The three women (Denise Perrier, Kim Nalley and Lady Mem'fis) made me proud to be a woman. Also Pete Escovedo's club has to be my favorite downtown San Jose joint. It's wonderfully luxurious inside.
Some concerts make me feel this job is more fun than work. The best performances remind me why I fell in love with the artists, or make me like them when I didn't before. It's nice when you find something worth the price of a ticket.
Beautiful, young and talented, Nalley hasn't had an easy life, yet circumstances didn't deter the gifted artist. BayView Times Biography
Creating a stark presence on the - if you know the venue - cramped stage, Nalley made everything fall away except the song. Blown away by the singer's poise and handling of jazz classics or standards - white flower in her hair hinting at just a few of the great women she channeled that night - I became an instant fan.
Metroactive Interview Concert Preview
Rebirth Of The Cool
After singing jazz, opera, rock and jump blues, Kim Nalley is most comfortable in her own voice
Contra Costa Times Yoshi's
Three ladies happy to be singing blues at Yoshi's
Metro vs Merc Gossip
Kim Nalley Sells Out
SF Bay Times Viva Variety
Nalley heated up the cold theater space with a sizzling version of "Let the Good Times Roll."
Sugar on top
Tuesdays- Sugar on top
As a vocalist, she's sensual. As a stylist, she's imaginative. Kim Nalley also just copurchased Jazz at Pearl's, lifting that nightclub to its feet after its brush with over-and-out status a few months back. Onstage she offers swinging rhythms, sharp lyrics, cheery vibrato, and a mustard tone that's pungent, giddy, and fun. Power lunches with co-producer Steve Sheraton and a steady diet of festival-hopping (SFJazz, Stanford Jazz, Switzerland) keep her busy, but her booming charisma, bottomless song supply, and swaggering moves have only strengthened. Side effects are guaranteed. Nalley performs at Pearl's every Tuesday. 9 p.m., Jazz at Pearl's, 256 Columbus, S.F. $5. (415) 291-8255. (King)
Posted on: Sunday August 08, 2004 PST
More than just a jazz singer
Talented Kim Nalley builds a following with wide range of vocal styles
By Philip Elwood
EXAMINER MUSIC CRITIC
HER NAME IS Kim Rene Nalley. She’s a singer, quite a singer, and a classy entertainer.
Still just in her 20s, Nalley grew up in New Haven, Conn. She has been on the Bay Area music scene since 1991-92, although her marvelous voice and style may be as well-known in many European cities as they are in San Francisco.
Someday soon, inevitably, before we get used to the 21st century, Nalley’s talents will be recognized and extolled far and wide.
At the insistence of Michael Tilson Thomas, Nalley sang “The Man I Love,” “Fascinating Rhythm” and other titles with the San Francisco Symphony in the “Centennial Tribute to Gershwin” concerts last year - the songs Frederica von Stade performed at the Symphony’s gala and TV production.
Thomas was a frequent visitor to the recently closed Alta Plaza on Clay Street, where Nalley had a long-standing Tuesday night gig, strolling from table to table, singing without a mike.
A dozen weeks before the Gershwin tribute, Nalley had knocked out the Sacramento Dixieland Jubilee crowds by singing without a mike.
A dozen weeks before the Gershwin tribute, Nalley had knocked out the Sacramento Dixieland Jubilee crowds by singing older jazz and blues standards with the Johnny Nocturne band, with whom she regularly sings. In between Old Sacramento and Davies Symphony Hall, she sang at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, New Orleans by the Bay and elsewhere.
“I don’t like the separation of musical styles,” she said. “I’m a singer who has been in the chorus of a Brahms Requiem performance and also has been a soloist in Handel’s ‘Messiah.’ I’ve sung Joe Turner’s ‘Jump Tonight,’ Billie Holiday’s ‘Don’t Explain’ and the Billy Strayhorn- Duke Ellington song, ‘Imagine My Frustration’ - all kinds of songs in cabarets, jazz and swing-dance clubs, and with r&b bands.”
Nalley talks with confidence, frankness and good humor. “Music and singing came to me early and naturally. I have uncles who are musicians and a great-uncle who plays jazz drums; my grandmother plays piano, and my great-grandmother, who died a while back, was the best musician in the family. She taught me to play piano and sing. “She loved ballads like ‘That Old Feeling,’ which she taught me; but she never liked the way I played it. 'Over the Rainbow' I first heard on the soundtrack of 'The Wizard of Oz,' on television. I learned to sing, or imitate, TV and radio commercial when I was very young; later on, I watched all the old movie musicals on TV –like stuff by Fred Astaire – and learned all the songs.
"The family used to sing Christmas carols, popular songs, never any gospel. A friend of one of my uncles used to get down once in while and sing some of those old, raunchy blues, Nalley said.
She studied voice and theater at New Haven's prestigious Educational Center for the Arts and performed at both Yale's Rep and Symphony Hall. After a year in the music program at College of the Holy Cross, where she went on a scholarship following her ECA studies – she moved to New York, appeared a few shows and had a number of singing gigs, including one at Kenny's Castaway.
Too young to play the larger New York nightclubs, she bummed around the country for a year with a gang of Deadheads, attending Grateful Dead shows and joining Rainbow gatherings along the way.
"I think we went to every state in the nation," Nalley noted, "and slept under every freeway."
After a year of that, Nalley decided to settle in San Francisco, and develop her career as a jazz singer while completing her college studies.
She credits the "Miles Davis "Kind f Blue" album for really turning her head toward jazz, but after a year or of living the “jazz life” and, as she says, “becoming afflicted with ‘hip jazz-singer syndrome,’ otherwise known as saxophone envy, I realized that I could scat as well as most horn players.”
And so, in the midst of a period when she was enrolled at UC Berkeley as a junior majoring in history, with a minor in legal studies, Nalley was also developing a singing repertoire based upon her studies of the work of Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Helen Humes and a dozen other greats in the world.
Concurrently, she organized her own band (the “Late Late Show,” she calls it) and also sang with the Cal Big Band at various intercollegiate jazz festivals. In 1994, she was awarded the See’s Candy Scholarship for Outstanding Musicianship, although when she tried to enroll in Bill Bell’s course for developing musicians at Cal she was told, “Vocalists aren’t musicians.”
Nalley was already becoming a familiar figure in Bay Area music circles She particularly enjoyed playing at B J. Papa’s Saturday workshops, jam sessions and whatever -- “He’s taught and helped so many musicians and made it possible for a lot of us to get to know, and play with, some of the best of Bay Area jazz players, like Ed Kelly, Robert Stewart, Jeff Chambers, Si Perkoff, Scotty Wright and many more,” Nalley said.
‘We’d play together and listen together; ask questions, give advice; learn tunes and changes; get familiar with the whole jazz scene; help each other out – sometimes get jobs, too.”
Some pianists I’ve worked with --often fine musicians-- remain kind of distant; they’re noncommunicators in jazz, the most distinctly communicative form of music. Others seem to be born teachers, always anxious to help a newcomer --suggesting new material, encouraging improvisation, and giving support.
Enrico’s, Cafe DuNord, Rassella’s, the Hi-ball, Yoshi’s, Club Deluxe and many other Bay Area cabarets, jazz, blues and swing-dance dubs booked the “Late Late Show” and Nalley’s career gradually got into gear. Working in her band at one time or another in its infancy were Bruce Forman, Graham Connah, Hal Stein, Dick Hindman, Babatunde and others. Her more recent colleagues have included Eric Shifrin, Jeff Massanari, Terry Miller and Raul Ramirez.
She has also sung and/or recorded with Bryan Gould's Swing Fever, Bud E. Luv Orchestra, the John Handy Trio and the Scott Brothers.
Nalley still does solo work and tries to maintain a fairly full schedule with her own groups, but with the increased popularity of swing-dancing and the jumpin’-jive beat, she’s spending most of her time singing with “Johnny Nocturne Band “the heaviest of the West Coast’s Jump-blues groups. Her newest recording with Johnny Nocturne, on Rounder, is titled “Million Dollar Secret,” a song first recorded by Helen Humes (Nalley’s favorite) with Roy Milton’s rockin’ r&b band in 1950. The whole CD jumps - it should have been titled “Cookin’ with Kim “
"The new voice in Jazz..."
La Repubblica, Italy
“ Kim Nalley is fast becoming the hottest singer in town. She is firmly in the tradition of the greats of jazz singing and moves effortlessly from sensuous ballad to bebop scat like a seasoned pro.”
Blues & Soul Magazine, Black Music & Jazz Review, United Kingdom
“KIM, UNA PRIMADONNA DALLA VOCE PROFONDA” [article headline]
“She is like Jessica Rabbit and Louis Armstrong at the same time.”
“Last year the darlings of the festival were Roy Hargrove and Gary Brown, this year it is the Johnny Nocturne band with the splendid voice of Kim Nalley. While waiting for the arrival of Charlie Haden, Kim Nalley has been nominated this festival’s star . . . the public is crazy for her.”
Giorgio Santeria - Il Corriere Dell’ Umbria, Italy
Ever have that feeling that you're sitting in on something special - a music, a singer, a style that makes you feel a certain wistful reminiscence for this same night to begin all over again, even though it's barely begun? That is the effect of a Kim Nalley performance.
Jean Bartlett - Pacifica Tribune
“IMPECCABLE SENSE OF SWING” “LUSTROUS VOICE”
"This was her first engagement at the Plush Room, and she quickly turned the cozy room into a steamy hothouse."
Andrew Gilbert, Contra Costa Times, Feb. 2002
“BUT WHEN IT COMES TO VOICES, THERE’S NO TOUCHING KIM NALLEY, new chanteuse . . . is a knockout on vocals.” Sam Hurwitt - East Bay Express
“WHEN THE SAUCY KIM NALLEY SASHAYED UP TO THE MIC, IT WAS ALL OVER. GORGEOUS AND VIBRANT, wearing a shimmery white sausage -casing dress, she oozed and sweated and sung the heck out of all her numbers, completely winning over the chattering, cocktail-sipping crowd until she had everyone’s attention. Nocturne and his sax playing are giant, but the secret weapon is Kim Nalley. Yow!”
Mae Hemm - SF Chronicle online
"GOD CAN THIS WOMEN SING! Nalley's combination of sophistication and innocence is irresistible."
Blues Access Magazine
Her stylish performances of "But Not For Me" and "Slap That Bass" made a real hit with the audience and gave evidence of a new talent for the world of cabaret. This young woman more than held her own in the distinguished company surrounding her.
David M Schwartz - Cabaret.Org
Also on hand was the stupendous Kim Nalley, a sassy young vocalist just back from a European tour. Nalley worked her usual black magic, reducing males in the audience to swoons and hollers in about five minutes. Smith was a delight in this set, turning out some classy muted solos. John Handy let his funky side show in a thumping version of "Moten Swing" mixed with "You're Driving Me Crazy." And Nalley cut straight to the heart with a sultry version of "Body and Soul."
Forrest Bryant - All About Jazz, Living Legends Concert
“THE BEST SINGER, ANY STYLE I’VE HEARD IN YEARS. She’s young, sharp and hip; looks great, enjoys singing and knows all the moves of a knockout performer....”
Phil Elwood- San Francisco Examiner (June 12, 2000)
“SULTRY VOICED 28-YEAR-OLD- KIM NALLEY BRINGS AN IRRESISTABLY SEXY SENSE OF SWING, RYHTHMIC DEXTERITY AND BEAUTIFUL SOUND TO THE CLASSICS.” Ivie Anderson (Duke Ellington), a singer Nalley calls to mind with her crisp diction and playful delivery of earthy lines.”
Andrew Gilbert - Down Beat
“ A young but polished jazz singer, who wouldn’t be out of place in a 1940’s club . . . was the closest the evening came to making a discovery.” (Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention 2000)
Chad Jones- Oakland Tribune
"Adorned with a white flower, Billie Holiday-esque Kim Nally sings the blues and lends the evening a 1920s Prohibition-era Harlem Renaissance charm. "
Alyssa Nitchun - Metro
“Sassy, sexy vocalist Kim Nalley's spot-on-passion for the sultry phrasing, vampish attitude and cool confidence of mother diva Dinah Washington translate . . . In her mid-20’s and already a savvy performer . . . “
Sam Prestianni - San Francisco Weekly
Kim Nalley and the Nocturne Band reminded the crowd that the south side wasn't the only place that had the blues goin' on in the 40's and 50's. They swung the blues with a jazz feeling, singer Kim Nally, looking and sounding like she just stepped out of the Cotton Club. My Kodak moment for this set was when Kim, a big Bessie Smith fan, commented on how much she liked this year's fest logo and then launched into an unrehearsed performance of Bessie's "St. Louis Blues".
Rt. Rev. J. "Muggles" Freebourne - Mississsppi Valley Blues News
“Million Dollar Secret with the Johnny Nocturne Band’s sensational new singer, Kim Nalley is at number 28 on the Gavin Chart this week.”
Paul Liberatore - Marin Independent Journal
“Other influences are acknowledged: Helen Humes, Dinah Washington, but in the end it’s Kim Nalley and no one else- an unforced instrument with clarity and jazzy musicality, effortlessly delivered, and a sense of humor to boot.”
Arthur Lazere - Culture Vulture
Nalley's technical mastery is apparent in subtle controlled shifts in timbre, register and overall vocal quality, from bell clear to gritty.
Tom Hyslop - Blues Revue
"She can go from sweet soprano to a growlin' baritone without breaking a sweat."
"Million Dollar Secret will most certainly be on my "top ten" list this year."
Bill Mitchell - Blues Bytes Surprise
“.... One would expect the sound to becoming from a 300lb church matron, not a diminutive young lady barely in her twenties . . . her voice maybe larger than she is but she controls it smoothly.
Whether singing in a duo or full band setting, her voice is truly captivating.”
The City, San Francisco’s Magazine
“GOLDEN-VOICED” Steve Hurwitt -
San Francisco Chronicle
"A RISING YOUNG STAR”
Rebecca Wheler- NYC Lincoln Center Jazz Festival Director
“A CLASSY ENTERTAINER . . . MARVELOUS VOICE AND STYLE”
Phil Elwood - San F rancisco Examiner
"Nalley sounds a little like Billie Holiday and a little like Dinah Washington, but ultimately she sounds like no one but herself, and she is spectacular."
Eric Fidler - Associated Press
“With her sultry wardrobe and vocal style, and the musicianship of her accomplished accompanists, her performances at the Ajax Lounge have been glorious and entertaining.”
“With the bearing and presence to melt crystal Kim Nalley belts song after song with style and grace.”
Ernie Hedman- San Jose Para Vida
Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention opening night gala “The Bay Area’s versatile Kim Nalley sang ‘But Not For Me’ with a wistful touch of Dinah Washington’s inflections, then joined by tap-dancer Wayne Doba, she wowed the audience with a hot version of ‘Slap That Bass.’ Socko.” Phil Elwood - SF Examiner
[Teatro Zinzanni] "Kim Nalley, sends a sultry storm through the house with Stormy Weather.” Steve Winn - SF Chronicle
“The Johnny Nocturne Band with Kim Nalley’s singing, turned in a sensational set Saturday afternoon. (Monterey Jazz 1999) The Garden Stage crowd went ape over Nalley’s “Million Dollar Secret,” among other stunners.”
[Monterey Jazz Festival] "Kim Nalley was in especially fine form, growling the blues when she had to or sweet talking a ballad when things got down and dirty."
Mac McDonald - Monterey County Herald (Sunday paper front page)
What else can I say about Kim Nalley, other than to say that she has it all - a great voice, a charismatic stage presence, a genuine sense of tradition, and as you can see, beauty that is truly mesmerizing. The band plays music that harkens back to earlier times when this brand of Blues was played with finesse, style, and a Jazz flair. Nalley will remind you of legends Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith.
"Nalley's singing is one of the best things that have happened on the Bay area's musical scene in years . . .. her captivating personality draws listeners into her performance. She doesn't just stand there at the mike and sing, she strolls . . .. Her ability to shift vocal styles and to work through all types of songs with informal ease are the kind of cross-town leap that few singers, anywhere, can handle."
Phil Elwood - San Francisco Examiner (September 27, 2000)
Be sure to catch the interview with famed conductor Michael Tilson Thomas about the then up-coming Gershwing Concert featuring Kim Nalley...
Anthony Thommasini - New York Times (June 22, 1999)
Kim Nalley levede godt og vel op til forventningerne ved koncerten på Café Hack
Den amerikanske sangerinde Kim Nalley kom, sang og sejrede, da hun for et udsolgt hus i aftes tog århusianerne med storm.
Muligvis er der ikke mange danskere, der i dag kender Kim Nalley og hendes fremragende musikalitet og stemme. Nï¿½r hun har optrï¿½dt pï¿½ Tunï¿½ Festival vil der mindst vï¿½re et par tusinde flere, d
ra le sue influenze principali, non a caso, la Nalley cita due icone della musica americana come Dinah Washington e Helen Humes.