New Beginnings is Gail Jhonson's 5th solo project on Philly the Kid Records. With the loss of her son, her daughter off to Berklee College of Music, an unexpected surgery; Gail found out quick, that things were changing in her life, and time for a new beginning. She started writing new grooves, melodies and partnered with Chuck Jefferson to begin a new musical journey, from where they left off; 2011 release of HerStory.
New Beginnings CD features an array of talented musicians; along with Marion Meadows, Hamilton Hardin and co-producer/saxophonist Mike Parlett (Solar Radio). This CD has high energy tracks, and sure to be a chart buster, especially the 1st single release, "Uptown Philly"! It includes an awesome arrangement of the Beatles classic, "And I Love Her", featuring Rob McDonald on vocals. Jimmy Haslip plays a beautiful duet, on "Vibe", while Maia sets the mood. To Tamina, was inspired by 20 year old Berklee drummer Jacori "Tay" Robinson, whose producer skills also shine on Hands Up; written by Chuck Jefferson. Gail, the 1st Lady of Smooth Jazz- produced, played, engineered, sang; and is off on a new horizon with this one.
Philadelphia born and raised Gail Jhonson is one of the most sought-after femaIe keyboardists around these days… actually, one of the most sought-after keyboardists, male or female. She’s Norman Brown’s musical director, has performed with major talent the likes of Vanessa Williams, Dave Koz, Pink… and the list goes on.
She composes and scores Gospel musicals, has her own Gospel Jazz radio show, and still has time to teach and give back through support of numerous charities. Amidst all of this activity comes Ms. Jhonson’s second solo release, HERSTORY, lovingly dedicated to her mom. As for the tunes on the new CD, they’re fantastic, just as you would expect from a talent of this caliber. Check out the new radio single, “Cruisin After Dark,” featuring Detroit’s Lin Rountree on trumpet. Yep, HERSTORY’s a total winner, and still another feather in the cap of the “First Lady of Smooth Jazz.” ~SCOTT O’BRIEN
Philadephia native, Gail Jhonson is no stranger to the world of Smooth Jazz. Jhonson,keyboardist and music director with Norman Brown’s Summer Storm, has enjoyede 2 indie label releases.
The 1st Lady of Smooth Jazz now has a brand new CD, Pearls! The piano melodies are sweet, the grooves are mesmerizing, the flavor is a compact blend of jazz and R&B. She is accompanied by recording artists: Paul Brown, Nelson Braxton, James Lloyd, Marion Meadows & Grammy award winner Norman Brown. Listen to Smooth Jazz with a feminine touch…Pearls!
keep the music playing
Keep The Music Playing starts off with a lively tune called “Just For Kicks”, with Norman Brown on wah-guitar & "Big Game" James Manning on bass. Followed by the classic "Heaven" by BeBe & CeCe Winans. “How Do You Keep the Music Playing”, beautifully presented in the contemporary jazz style... with a feminine touch! "Soleh" is a duet with jazz superstar Norman Brown and bassist extraordinaire Sekou Bunch. “I Wanna Luv U” is a ballad that brings to mind the great songs of yesterday, featuring upcoming producer/songwriter Addam "Gift" Driver and the sweet voice of Charlia. And then there is “I’ll Be Around” a remake of the Spinners smash hit! Pamela Williams on sax lends her groove to “Gimme Your Groove”. Gail lays it back with “Goodnight” a slow groove, and “Sunrise” wakes you up as only Vidais Lovette can with the vocals. “Take What You Need” invites you in and leads you to a “Tropical Island” where Gail Keeps The Music Playing for you!
it’s about time
It’s About Time was originally written and produced in 1994 and later released in 1996. Here is a little history of how this record developed. Prior to this, I had several groups that had label potential-"2X2" a contemporary jazz quartet, "One on One" a keyboard & guitar R&B duo & all-female jazz quintet "Beau". None of those projects panned out, then I had the opportunity to work with guitarist Norman Brown in 1991. I soon became music director and I was very excited about us going on tour and opening up for superstar Patti LaBelle. After we finished the west coast “leg” of the tour (no pun intended), we traveled on the long awaited tour bus back east. Well, I didn’t make it to the first gig, I broke my leg...and had to be sent back home. I was devastated! I had a new baby to support and was unable to gig. So with a little help and my savings, I stayed home and decided to write “jazz” songs & submit them to various new “smooth jazz” artists. Like most musicians, we all invested in home studios; and mine paid off. As a novice studio engineer, I compiled tracks I already recorded, wrote new ones, got some of my talented friends to play or sing, then pitched them to everyone I could. Well, at the time, no one was interested.
However, before the tour, I did a photo shoot for Mackie Corp. The pictures were professionally done, so I used them to help me launch my solo project after so many years of being in original bands, duos, quartets, playing R&B, Funk, Disco and Jazz. I also wrote tracks for vocalists, producers, rappers & budding hip-hop artists. So, my mindset is was to treat this project as a demo and somebody would be interested & sign me up. Well that didn’t happen either. I guess I was waiting for a big-time producer to come along & realize he needed a female, piano player commodity like me! So I turned to Gospel music & Theatre and found un-speakable joy!
I continued to play jazz with many artists and have written many songs over the years. When I decided to do this, my family said IT’S ABOUT TIME you concentrate on you & your music. So with my “demo” and newly found freedom of expression and indie label Philly the Kid Records, I made less than 100 copies. It’s late 2007, and I decided to master these tracks & make them available in my catalog. I was unable to re-mix the original music, so the sound quality isn’t great; but the feeling & attitude of the music speaks for itself. I hope you find joy and feel like toe-tappin’ while you listen!