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Kimberly Keating: Reviews

"Just beautiful! Kimberly you stole the show!"

Lily Tomlin - Comedian/Actress

"Kimberly your performance was flawless!  Honestly, one of the best shows I have ever seen."

Bob Gauvreau - Entertainer
First and foremost, Bostonian Kimberly Keating has a phenomenal low alto voice that remains rich and full, never husky as she smoothly caresses the well-known jazz standards on her latest album Overjoyed. Her vocal prowess shines on tunes from the 1930’s that were all ironically originally recorded by men. Nevertheless, Keating undoubtedly makes the songs work for her and does a sensational job doing so.

Overjoyed begins with Carmichael and Washington’s “The Nearness of You,” originally performed in 1938 by the Glenn Miller Orchestra with Ray Eberle on vocals. Keating needs only a small jazz trio of piano, bass and drums to work her magic on this ballad. The ensemble keeps the song moving straight ahead, nice and easy with Keating exhibiting excellent use of vibrato. She adds her gentle touch to Noble’s “The Very Thought of You” from 1934 originally sung by Al Bowlly and rendered later that year by Bing Crosby. Ben Cook on piano, a regular on the Boston jazz scene, does a wonderful job in the bridge with his short little passages quickly tinkling by, but never obtusely flashy. He expertly keeps the melody discernable throughout his musings and neatly ties the instrumental and vocal sections together. Keating and her combo again sparkle in the 1936 Academy award winning classic “The Way You Look Tonight,” infamously performed by Fred Astaire in the movie Swing Time. These seasoned musicians have a knack for keeping these well-known songs fresh and interesting without being unnecessarily avant-garde.

Leaving the era of black and white behind, Keating peppers Overjoyed with a variety of pop tunes from half a century later. To add some extra vigor another talented Bostonian, Dino Govoni joins the mix with his eclectic saxophone on these modern tunes. Keating channels Kathy Troccoli a fellow low-voiced Northeasterner; in “You’ve Got a Way” off her 1991 album Pure Attraction. This marked the transition of Troccoli from the contemporary Christian genre to a more mainstream pop sound and Keating takes full advantage of this more dramatic flair and belts her heart out. The title track was Stevie Wonder’s last reign atop the Adult Contemporary charts back in 1985 from his album In Square Circle. Govoni plays a fun saxophone lick along to the bossa nova groove set by the rhythm section. Keating comfortably rests the droll melody atop the instrumentation and the big modulation into the last chorus could not have been cleaner.

For a more modern sound, Cook trades in the ivories for a keyboard for the carefree “Fallen” from 1990’s Pretty Woman soundtrack. The keyboards are heard again in piano man Billy Joel’s 1976 tune “New York State of Mind” from his Turnstiles album. This is Keating’s show-stopping number with her confident vocals boldly extolling the greatness of the Big Apple that could aptly be sung center stage on Broadway. Govoni lets loose on the saxophone and utilizes the full range of the instrument in his killer bridge solo. Keating’s vocal break at the end sends shivers down your spine before Govoni dives back in and energetically plays through to the fade out.

Not only does Keating employ her fellow local talented musicians, Overjoyed has a bit of a familial touch with her husband John Posco expertly playing drums for the album, and her brother Christopher Keating contributing an original ballad to the project entitled “Forever and a Day.”

Overjoyed is a fabulous collection of old standards mixed with some newer fare that is all well suited to Keating’s immense talent.
Kelly O'Neil - Review You