Album Review: Another Day, Molly Johnson (Marquis, 2002)

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Molly Johnson is a prolific performer and vocalist that, with this outing, is finally fitted with an ensemble and song selection that she wears better than anyone could. Her vocal style is relaxed, casual, but enchanting. Many compare her to Billie Holiday but she doesn’t overplay that in the style choices she makes.

This album has a perfect mix of slow and upbeat tunes that showcase Johnson’s unique style. The percussion on “Summertime” was played on a cardboard box. It works and is telling of what this woman can do with the raw material around her. In the melee of female jazz vocalists trying to find a marketing niche, Johnson has quietly found her musical niche and made it inimitable.

As a footnote, I should refer you to Esther Phillips, who is more similar to Johnson than Holiday. Phillips is worth checking out for some classic 60’s era standards with big band arrangements. Her versions of “Crazy He Calls Me” and “Fever” are nice companions to Molly Johnson’s current work.

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