Philadelphia native Gail Jhonson is an in-demand keyboardist since
several years. That was a natural result of her move to Los Angeles.
After her work for Morris Day (The TIME) and Norman Brown she is a
vivid factor in the smooth jazz scene. She started her solo career
with the album
Music Playing (2004), followed by
(2008) on nuGroove Records. This year she makes waves with HerStory
at the label 111 East Music.
Gail Johnson is supported by Lin Rountree (trumpet), Tamira Khyrah-joi
(vocals), Tom Braxton (sax), Dwayne Smitty Smith (bass) and more. ”My
story begins with her story...this is dedicated to you Mom!’ is the
explanation of the title, a give back for her mother's hard work.
Make It Happen is the first revelation of Gail's mesmerizing
talent as composer and performer. Especially to the end of the song,
when she starts improvising is the real deal. The keytar is one of
Gail's favorite instruments. A keytar is a relatively lightweight
keyboard (with or without a built-in synthesizer) that is supported by
a strap around the neck and shoulders, similar to the way a guitar is
supported by a strap. That way a keyboardist can use the stage for
greater moves. Electric Lady
Crusin' After Dark fills the gap between Jazz (Lin Rountree)
and R&B (Tamira Khyrah-joi) with Gail's
brilliant keyboard mastery. On Dear Aaron Dwayne Smitty Smith
adds some funky bass licks, but the real queen on keys is Gail on the
piano presenting exquisite soloing.
On Still Care About Me Gail Jhonson surprises with her own
sensual vocals. This One is another co-operation of Gail and
Lin Rountree staring Lin on trumpet. A real drummer would
certainly be a good replacement for the often used programmed drums.
The dreamy For Your Mom is Gail's personal tribute to her
beloved mother. “I can’t thank her enough for that. That’s kind of my
motto now – Mom, the piano lessons will pay off, and Dad, its okay to
let your daughter play jazz.” Herstory offers relaxed piano
jazz for smooth creation. On the jam packed Do Something Else
Gail speed up the song riding the whirlwind. Finally she showcases
with Dee's Dance her musical prowess and a great variation of
With HerStory Gail Jhonson shows once more the breathtaking
musicality of her solo work. For those of you who prefer smooth jazz
this album is certainly an attraction.