In the midst of uncertainty and crisis, Kim Nalley’s voice offers solace and joy. As American society seems determined to unravel, she holds firm to timeless musical truths, delivering a program of songs that embody the best of American culture. While Nalley is a commanding scat singer, she’s in ballad and blues mode here, conducting a master class in pacing and tempo as each arrangement hugs her sensuous voice like a bespoke runway gown. Opening with a brisk and bright take on “Tear Drops From My Eyes,” Nalley puts her own stamp on the 1950 hit that launched Ruth Brown as an early R&B icon. Her caressing version of “Try A Little Tenderness” makes the advice sound utterly convincing 90 years after the song’s introduction by Ray Noble (who penned the next song, “I Hadn’t Anyone Till I Met You,” delivered by Nalley with insouciant swing). Tenor saxophonist Houston Person, who’s worked with Nalley since her days as proprietor of the lamented North Beach nightspot Jazz at Pearl’s, serves as an ideal foil throughout the album, providing incisive, lyrical commentary while sounding more burnished than ever. And her longtime band led by soul-steeped pianist Tammy Hall is as tasteful and tasty as any on the scene. As an extra treat, the great Maria Muldaur joins in for a playful duet on the title track. After that lusty excursion, Nalley creates an oasis of innocence by turning Fred Rogers’ “Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood” into a convincing jazz ballad. The rarely covered ballad “It’s All In the Game,” perhaps the only American songbook entry written by a vice president and Nobel Peace Prize winner (Charles Dawes), is another gem on a project that reaffirms Nalley’s status as a world-class jazz artist with an unfailing ear for exceptional material. 


Andrew Gilbert writes for the San Francisco Chronicle and many other publications. 

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  • Producer and Vocals- Kim Nalley

    Co-producer and saxophone- Houston Person

    Co-producer, engineer, and sound - Joel Jaffe

    Piano-Tammy Hall

    Bass -Michael Zisman

    Guitar-Barry Finnerty

    Drums-Kent Bryson

    Additional Vocals-  Maria 

    Recorded at Studio D

    Art and Design R. Black

    ©KNJP 2022

    Digital Distribution by Orchard