Philadelphia born Gail Jhonson has already performed with Pink, Minako Honda, Norman Brown, Vanessa Williams, Mindy Abair, Jermaine Jackson, Morris Day, Bobby Womack, Ray Parker jr., Vesta, Howard Hewitt, Bobby Lyle, Brian Culbertson, OC Smith, Paul Jackson jr., Pamela Williams, Phil Perry, Milli Vanilli and Proyecto Uno. I had the great privilege to review her debut album Keep The Music Playing (2004). During her time as musical director of Norman Brown she had the time to record her new album Pearls, which is scheduled for release April 29, 2008.

“My new CD, Pearls it truly is a gem! It is a collection of songs I’ve written from my heart, with the help of some very respected artists’ in the business. With the exposure by recording label, nuGroove Records, it’s sure to gain national attention and please jazz listeners in a special way,” comments Gail. The first reactions of her fans are overwhelming and they won't be disappointed.

Since 1985 Gail lives in L.A. and so it's only naturally that the starting tune is titled Pacific Breeze. Produced by Nelson Braxton, who also performs bass, guitar and additional keys this tune is the perfect starter. Nelson and his brother Wayne are the famous Braxton Brothers. My Soldier is recorded in the best James Lloyd manner. Build on a shuffle beat the minimal chords have a sultry appeal. James Lloyd is a founding member of the great Pieces Of A Dream.

Silky Slide is featuring Paul Brown on guitar. A piece of relaxation this tune convinces with the mighty bass. Paul Brown is called “the Babyface of smooth jazz.” He is mainly known as producer of hits for stars like Boney James, Rick Braun, Peter White, Kirk Whalum, Euge Groove, Norman Brown, Patti Austin and Larry Carlton. With the sensible ballade Moments Of Love Gail highlights her excellent quality as composer, producer and performer.

Donald Tavie’ a musical genius and native of Texas, now a resident in L.A. has teamed up with such celebrity greats as Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Norman Connors,, Luther Vandross, Gerald Albright, Chaka Khan, Earth, Wind & Fire and a lot more. He delivers the easy Runnin' Around. On Feel Good Groove Gail develops a nice piano solo out of a simple melody.

Miles Away was written by Travis Milner, who also performs additional keys and drum programming. Travis has toured with such popular recording artists as Bill Withers, Ray Goodman & Brown, Adeva, Cindy Mizelle, the O'Jays, Maysa and Isaac Hayes. His tune has a romantic twist perfectly set in scene by Gail on piano. On Whisper Yours and Let's Do This Gail shines with superb key strokes on her piano.

Sisters and Pearls are written and produced by James Lloyd. Gail has on both songs her hands on the keys. Pearls is featuring Marion Meadows on sax. Marion is an in-demand saxophonist and has the right mixture of fire and soul. The bonus track Soleh was already released on Gail's debut album. One of the best of her works it certainly deserved a repetition. On this mid-tempo and modest tune she is accompanied by Norman Brown (guitar) and Sekou Bunch (bass).

Diamonds are girls' best friends, but Pearls is a gift which should be given to all lovers of smooth jazz.




  • Bio
  • Gail Johnson's website
  • CD available
    • in all stores

  • Album information:

    Title: Pearls
    Artist: Gail Jhonson
    Year: 2008
    Length: 0:46:47
    Genre: Smooth Jazz
    Label: nuGroove Records

    01 Pacific Breeze [3:45]
    02 My Soldier [4:22]
    03 Silky Slide [4:10]
    04 Moments Of Love [3:19]
    05 Runnin' Around [4:33]
    06 Feel Good Groove [3:50]
    07 Miles Away [4:06]
    08 Whisper Yours [3:48]
    09 Let's Do This [3:44]
    10 Sisters [4:13]
    11 Pearls [3:13]
    12 Soleh [3:44]