Thoroughly Modern

Thoroughly Modern: Mildred

Bailey Songs

Liner Notes

I love singing and listening to jazz. Whenever I can, I like to go to ella’s Supper Club in downtown Spokane, where you can find great jazz and great food in a beautiful setting. These songs were recorded at ella’s with The Danny McCollim Group on October 25, 2006, and they are some of my favorites. I hope you like them.

I learned SOFTLY, AS IN A MORNING SUNRISE at the Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp in Naperville, IL during the summer of 2005 with the help of Janice. LADY BE GOOD became a favorite the first time I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing it. I learned it at the Eastern Washington University Jazz Dialogue Camp in the summer of 2005. Ella was the best!

I loved the way Dinah Washington and Julie London sang CRY ME A RIVER so I decided to try it. I learned SWINGING SHEPHERD BLUES at the EWU Jazz Camp in the summer of 2004. I keep working on this song, because it has great lyrics and an improvisational opportunity. Not bad for a piece that started out as a flute solo! Billie Holiday was the first jazz singer I ever heard. My mom brought home one of her recordings when I was four years old. She has so many incredible tunes, including GOOD MORNING, HEARTACHE, and I never get tired of singing Billie Holiday songs.

OUR LOVE IS HERE TO STAY is an old standard that was recorded by Blossom Dearie and much earlier by Mildred Bailey. I admire Blossom for her long career (still going strong!) and the fact that she has her own record label. Mildred was the best jazz singer to come out of Spokane, according to another local singer named Bing Crosby, who graduated from my high school, Gonzaga Prep. I agree. This one is dedicated to Mildred.

My voice teacher, Kristina Ploeger, introduced me to Horace Silver’s NICA’S DREAM. I sang it at the Lionel Hampton Festival in 2003 when I was in the eighth grade. It’s a complicated song. I keep working at it because I love the lyrics and melodic structure. The first time I heard Johnny Hartman sing IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS OF THE MORNING I knew I had to learn it. Judy Niemack worked with me at the Janice Borla Jazz Camp during the summer of 2004, and I sang it at the camp concert. It was there that I met and became friends with the late Floyd Standifer, a jazz great and a truly cool human being. This one’s for Floyd.

Special thanks to Leslie Grove, Tim Behrens, all the other folks at ella’s, and to the boys in the band: Danny McCollim, Doug Folkins, Dru Heller and Bruce Pennell. And to three strong women in my life: my mom, JoAnn Kauffman, my sister Josephine and my wonderful grandmother Murphy. Also to those rowdy fans in the front row: dad, Ira and Kevin, and all the other family and friends! Thanks for listening.


Julia Keefe : Vocals


Jerrol Pennerman : Piano

John Kocur : Alto Saxophone

Demarr Woods : Trumpet

DuPor Georges : Trombone

James Rodney Richardson : Guitar

Eric Wheeler: Acoustic Bass

Russell Carter Jr.: Drums


Recorded at The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. 2009

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