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Jude Johnstone
Blue Light

Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
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  Don't Jude Johnstone's Blue Light is one of the better jazz vocal albums I have heard this year. She had two previous releases prior to this, and like many artists I have enjoyed over the years she has a broader catalog of music than I could have imagined. Such is the life of a music lover in the world of cyberspace and digital downloads, and whether you happen to be a listener or critic it does not matter considering how many indie artists there are these days.

Jude is now one of hundreds of artists I had the pleasure to meet through music. Is there a better way to meet someone, heart and soul, than through 11 torch songs set to a backdrop of contemporary jazz? You will not find this kind of connection in some cheesy chat room or message board. Beyond the ever-changing fast-paced world we live in is music that takes a step back and transports you to another time, pulls on your heartstrings and begs for the simple life we left behind the day personal computers became as common as a TV set.

Jude Johnstone has recorded a gem. Right from the opening title track through the heart wrenching and sad "That's Why I'm Leavin' You" to another weepy-eyed track "Paper Doll", her innate ability to tell the story, make it believable and have you feeling the pulse and pure emotion of the words and their meaning is her modus operandi.

The music is as elemental and precise as the message in the words. Some very capable musicians that understand Jude and the primary objective of this recording are with her every step of the way. The meaning of jazz is essential to accomplish the goals set out on this album, and after listening quite intently I do believe Blue Light is proficiently executed and something to be proud of for the singer and her band.

Jude also is a very capable multi-versed musician playing the piano and vibes on this session to compliment her counterparts. David Piltch (standup bass) is crucial to that real throwback jazz sound, and Danny Frank (drums) and Matt Margucci (trumpet) are major contributors as well. Several others play their parts very well to help make this all come together without a hitch for Jude. Thanks to their stellar support her vocals spread across this colorful musical landscape seamlessly.

This album is of substantial merit and I feel most people that appreciate the legacy and traditions of jazz will enjoy it immensely.





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