Sophisticated but never complicated. Intelligent but never intellectual. Juliet's sound perfectly encapsulates the glamour of the jazz divas of a bygone age adding a modern, sassy twist. Her music has been described as a cross between India.Arie and Peggy Lee with a hint of Amy Winehouse. Juliet just likes to describe it as sophisticated music for stylish people
or Glam Jazz!
With two critically acclaimed albums of original material under her belt - Aphrodite's Child (2003) and Delicious Chemistry (2005) - Juliet now presents her 5-song EP, Licorice Kiss on her own "Purple Stiletto" label. Referencing her diverse influences, she offers up her own take on an 80's classic alongside her own creations.
Beginning with the lilting groove of the lyrically sensual opener "Licorice Kiss" we are treated to a variety of styles including the reggae-tinged rhythm of "I'm Still Here" and Juliet's drum-and-bass flavoured call to end the obsession with celebrity entitled "Ordinary Lives". 80's favourite "Tainted Love" is given a swinging shuffle feel and final track "Serendipity" - a celebration of unexpected good fortune - is a subtly funky toe-tapper.
But what does "Licorice Kiss" actually mean? Juliet says "During my performances I've asked members of the audience to come up to me after the gig with their guesses about the meaning behind the title track. Although I've heard some very interesting (and sometimes a little bit naughty!) guesses, so far no one has got it quite right but please do keep sending your ideas though
" Send your answer to Juliet through her website www.julietkelly.com and the best answer will win copies of all Juliet's albums!
Licorice Kiss Personnel: Juliet Kelly (vocals), Carl Orr (guitar), Oli Hayhurst (bass), Pat Illingworth (drums) and George Moore (keyboards).
Becoming a jazz singer seemed an unlikely prospect for Juliet who grew up in London in a strict, religious household. In fact, all music apart from the religious variety was completely banned! After following the expected path by studying for a degree in economics, everything changed when she discovered that she had a talent for singing after enrolling on a jazz a cappella vocal class at a local music workshop. She knew nothing about jazz and had never sung in public - but it wasn't long before she was completely hooked...
Within a year she had auditioned for and been accepted on to the postgraduate jazz course at London's prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since then, Juliet has worked with many outstanding musicians including Tony Kofi, Gary Crosby, Seb Rochford and Jim Mullen. She has performed throughout the UK and more recently in Europe with concerts in Italy, Germany, Greece and Russia. She has supported Georgie Fame, Ron Carter and Take 6 as well as sharing the stage with Talvin Singh, Maxi Jazz (Faithless) and Carleen Anderson.
Lauded by the late Humphrey Lyttelton and championed by Courtney Pine, Juliet also combines the rare feat of being a favourite with audiences whilst winning the respect of her peers.
"Every now and then a new voice with a fresh attitude arrives on the jazz scene. That voice is here within the soul of Juliet Kelly ... The new voice on the UK jazz scene." COURTNEY PINE
"...a singer whose rich, raw voice is as compelling as her compositions. One of the UK's finest female jazz stars" JAZZWISE
a real jazz sensibility, depth in the writing and a little intensity; rare and welcome weapons in today's jazz vocalists' often limited armoury." JAZZ AT RONNIE SCOTT'S MAGAZINE
"rising star - well worth hearing" TIME OUT