Keyboardist GAIL JHONSON (her spelling) leads an ensemble known as JAZZ IN PINK. Before that she spent something like 20 years as musical director for Norman Brown so for sure she knows her way round the smooth jazz circuit. Pair that with her Philly roots and her unashamed love of the great soul sounds from that city and you have an idea where she’s coming from musically… smooth, slick, professional, melodic and committed to the genre.

Hear all those qualities on her newest Jazz In Pink long player, ‘Joy!’, which has just won release on Shanachie Records. The concise 10 tracker ticks all the smooth jazz boxes. There are plenty of tight, soul inspired grooves like the opening title track and ‘All That Jazz’ which features Marion Meadows. ‘Keystroke’ is funkier altogether riding in on a ‘Superstition’ style intro, while ‘Steppin’ To The Keys’ will, as the title suggests, keep the stepping crew happy. If only this had a vocal – what tune! Ballads? Well try ‘Come For Me’ and ‘Into The Nite’ for starters. Other guests on the album, by he way, include Kim Waters and guitar maestro Paul Jackson Jr.

Gail says of ‘Joy!’: “I’m hoping the music will be inspirational enough to make people play it over and over again. The world is in such disarray right now and I am hopeful that this music will offer Joy! even a little bit will do.” AMEN!