Songstress Gail Jhonson is dubbed "The First Lady Of Smooth Jazz" because her resume is unmatched. In addition to her production work, she has played piano for a vast array of artists, including Bobby Womack, Janet Jackson, Pink, Morris Day, Sheila E., Ray Parker Jr., Peabo Bryron and Patti Austin.
And that is just the short list.
Gail has recorded an album under the name Jazz In Pink for 2020. The album contains ten songs, and Kim Waters, Marion Meadows, Kim Scott & Paul Jackson Jr. make appearances on the project.
Let's check out the sounds!
Review - 'Joy!" by Jazz In Pink
The project begins with Joy Joy! This is like an all-star track with Kim Waters and Paul Jackson, Jr. as guest stars. Jackson, Jr. has some really funky guitar riffs, and I cannot tell what I like better...Jhonson's piano or that bassline. Luckily we do not have to choose. Waters' horn is really icing on the cake on this track, and we really love that breakdown about three minutes in, where the three sound like they are just riffing.
Keystroke is up next. The effortless piano play is a testament to Jhonson's talent. The really good ones make everything look and sound easy. Sekou Bunch, the bass player was putting in some work on this track, and this is the kind of easy uptempo track that we did not know we needed.
Marion Meadows is featured on All That Jazz. We will call this a lazy song, because if you are in the mood to chill, then this track will highlight that playlist. Meadows is showing out with that sax, and Jhonson seems to be playing off his lead. The two artists are really in sync.
Positivity is next and it features Kim Scott. If you want to know what jazz/funk sounds like, this is definitely it. Normally you would not say that with a piano and flute lead, but the arrangements in this song will catch your attention. Instead of reading about the track, just take a listen for yourself.
It seems like most of the Smooth Jazz albums have that one track that should be a vocal R&B song. Come For Me is that track. Even though we would like a vocal on this, it is still great as an instrumental. Paul Jackson Jr. is back to lend some guitar goodness.
Do you need a new track for your steppin' playlist? Steppin' To The Keys may be an interesting choice. The keys and the synths are right on time with that mid-tempo beat. The synths give the track an old-school feel...and WE are not mad at that!
Into The Nite is a slow groove that will keep your head bobbing and finger snapping all the way through. Jhonson's piano is front and center, and it sounds like she is having a lot of fun, tickling those keys. This is probably one of the top tracks in the set.
We pick up the pace again with Roll Out. The drums will catch your attention here, as live drummers are always appreciated. The piano play has a lot of energy, and as a wise man once said, "This is how music should sound."
We get a 1990's feel with The Ride. In addition to the swing beat, we have Paul Jackson, Jr. back on rhythm guitar, and a lead piano that flows very nicely. Oh yeah, and we get some more synthesizers to complete that throwback vibe.
The album concludes with Smoother. At first listen, the bass will catch your attention, and Jhonson is almost surgical with those keys. One thing is for sure...This song is not smooth, it is SMOOTHER!
Joy! is a fun ride, and one that you will enjoy from start to finish. Jhonson's experience and talents show throughout, and if you need some new piano based Jazz, then you will want to add this to your playlist.