NINA and
November 09, 2010
By C. Michael Bailey

Every once in a while an homage project comes along actually doing what it sets out to do: pay homage. That the object of the present homage is the enigmatic Nina Simone makes Canadian Kellylee Evans' Nina that much more a definitive statement of a courageous cultural career. Add to this that Evans thoughtfully does not cover Simone's "Mississippi Goddamn," and this collection is properly frames not only Simone, but also Evans, whose musical vision, already established, is a formidable one.

Evans employs a small, uncomplicated band for her spare treatment of the Simone songbook. The piano trio is replaced by a svelte guitar trio led by guitarist Marvin Sewell, whose damped round tone provides a retro-Herb Ellis tone. Evans effects a performance of the traditional "Sinnerman" that lays half-way between Simone's 1965 recording pm Pastel Blues (Philips), and Peter Tosh's reggae incarnation "Downpressor Man," from Equal Rights (CBS, 1977). Sewell plays a soupy slide guitar over François Moutin's burping jungle groove, propelled by Andre Ceccarelli's snare-less drumming. Evans sings with a relaxed urgency, one not unlike Simone.

But amidst it all, Evans retains her own potent identity with material that would have eaten lesser talent alive. Simone is properly honored while Evans is properly framed
NINA in L'Actualite
November 08, 2010
Quebec's major monthly mag, L'Actualite has called Nina one of the most beautiful jazz album's of the year. You can read the review in full, here:

KLE in Figaro Madame!!!
November 08, 2010
Check out the feature on KLE published Nov 6, 2010 in France's Madame Figaro.

Figaro madame.pdf
November 06, 2010
"Flawless like a pricey wedding gown"....

Click through to this site to read one of the coolest reviews written for KLE's NINA CD.
New NINA review in Babysue
November 02, 2010
NINA was just chosen as a top pick on 'babysue'!

Kellylee Evans - Nina (CD, Plus Loin Music, Pop)
Being big fans of Nina Simone since who knows when, this CD instantly caught our attention. Nina is the third full-length release from Ottawa, Canada's Kellylee Evans...and it's a stunning and resilient tribute to Simone's music. Properly presenting Nina's music is no small feat...but Kellylee delivers the goods with integrity and style. Evans' music has enjoyed incredible success over the past few years. In 2004 she won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and since that time she has opened up for many well-known celebrities. The folks at the Plus Loin Music label flew Kellylee to France in 2009 where she recorded the tracks for Nina. Evans has a killer voice that really makes these tunes cook. Her sultry relaxed vocals are precise and exacting without ever sounding canned or forced. Twelve fantastic cuts here including "Do What You Gotta Do," "Feeling Good," "July Tree," and "Wild Is The Wind." Nina Simone...done right. Top pick.

Babysue November 2010
Featured Video: Kellylee Evans "Hands Up"
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