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Matthew Ruddick

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Author of Funny Valentine, an acclaimed new biography of the jazz trumpet player and singer, Chet Baker.
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Saturday, 23 January 2021 21:07

Gemma Sherry - Let's Get Serious

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Australian-born singer gets cheeky, not serious.

Australian-born, Philadelphia-based Gemma Sherry studied classical saxophone at university, but in recent years has primarily worked as a singer. She has contributed vocals to various house music tracks, and more recently returned to her first love, which is jazz. 

Amazingly, Let's Get Serious is her third album in just eighteen months, hot on the heels of Songs I Love (2019) and Sings Bossa Nova (2020). The new album was designed to bring a smile in these troubled times, and it succeeds on every level. There's a playful sweetness to Sherry's voice that brings an element of joy to each of the songs here, whether she is vamping it up, as she does on opening track, Blossom's Blues - claiming to be an "evil, evil woman" - or swinging her way through Nat Cole's Straighten Up And Fly Right.

She's joined by a first-class band, too - featuring Paul Bollenback on guitar, Rick Germanson on piano, Eric Wheeler on bass, George Coleman Jr. on drums and Joseph Doubleday on vibes - all of whom impress here.

Watch a preview of the album here.

The choice of material is impeccable; well-known standards like Give Me The Simple Life and Straighten Up are interspersed with lesser-known gems like The Alley Cat Song. There's not a bad song on the album, but I particularly enjoyed her classy take on The Gentleman Is A Dope, a delicious version of Whatever Lola Wants and the fantastic closer, The Doodlin Song, which is one of my favourite songs of the year.

Sherry set out to bring happiness to the world with this album; it brought a smile to my face, and will do for you, too.

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