Grace Kelly: I'll Remember April


I'll Remember April


Grace Kelly (alto sax)


Mood Changes (Pazz 16-9)

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Grace Kelly (alto sax),

Doug Johnson (piano), John Lockwood (bass), Jordan Perlson (drums)


Composed by Gene De Paul, Don Raye & Patricia Johnston


Recorded: Westwood, Massachusetts, no date given (CD released in 2009)


Rating: 82/100 (learn more)

I can't think of a teenage jazz musician who has more visibility than young Grace Kelly, who is being touted as a prodigy of the alto. But her playing is so careful at times that it is hard to get a sense of how well she really plays her horn. Here she is left exposed on a moderately fast version of "I'll Remember April," without other front line players or clever arrangements to pick up the slack, and the results are lackluster. Her tone is sweet and lovely in the opening melody statement, but gets more and more shrill as the song progresses. These are pretty easy chord changes for soloing, with long stretches of static harmonies—and there are a hundred young saxophonists in Manhattan who could slice 'em and dice 'em until they beg for mercy. Yet Kelly lets her opening break, that moment for glory, float by with hardly a peep from her horn. Later in the chorus she fools around with a simple motif, and sometimes tosses out a fluid phrase but nothing you wouldn't hear in your typical Berklee practice room. I keep waiting for her to let loose with something special to convince me that the buzz surrounding her is more than empty hype. I'm still waiting.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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