Joy Ride has been nominated for a Na Hoku Hanohano Award as Best Jazz Album of 2008. In Hawaii, this is the equivalent of a Grammy. (Na Hoku means Star and Hanohano means honor.) Lou Ann Gurney is an outstanding jazz vocalist from the island of Hawaii. Her CD Joy Ride contains 12 classic jazz standards and jazz pop songs and represents some of the finest songwriters in American popular music history including Duke Ellington, Harold Arlen, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Peggy Lee and Irving Berlin. Ms. Gurney's vocal style has been hailed as"...Gershwinesque charming and reminiscent of a simpler time of innocence..." by Desiree Moana Cruz of the Hawaii Island Journal. And Wayne Harada of the Honolulu Advertiser says of Lou Ann, "Gurney sings with a gentle, sincere eloquence..." Ms. Gurney has been performing on the Big Island for many years, focusing on classic jazz standards. Her familiarity with the genre allows her a natural feel for and kinship with the 12 tunes on the CD. Opening with Peggy Lee's "I Don't Know Enough About You", Gurney sets the tone for the entire CD - a kind of I-love-these-songs-and-you-will-too attitude that pervades throughout. Commenting from her home in Puna Ms. Gurney remarked, "I'm deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to make this CD. It exceeds my expectations. Thank you to Gregg and all the musicians who contributed their creative energy to make Joy Ride something I'm really proud of.' The project was produced and arranged by Big Island producer Gregg Perry and recorded at Perry's Peck Tunes Studio in Ainaloa. "This CD is sparked by high octane players and infectious grooves," commented Perry. "Lou Ann and I have been working on this project for the past year. I couldn't be more pleased with the level of professionalism and creativity that Lou Ann has achieved with every performance on this production. I don't know anyone who wouldn't enjoy this CD." On the CD Perry also plays piano, Hammond B 3 organ, and other instruments. Big Island musician Ahti Mohala contributes inventive sax and clarinet solos in various styles. Volcano Choy graces the bossa nova classic "The Gentle Rain" with a virtuosic trumpet solo. And multi-talented L.A. musician/producer Stephan Oberhoff adds a dazzling guitar and piano and is credited with two superb string arrangements on "Our Love Is Here To Stay" and "In The Still Of The Night."
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