Featured on Brazilian Match

"In the Grove of the Jacarandas"

"Our man David Sanborn adds his distinctive sax tones to the mood setting, lilting bossa nova ‘In The Grove of The Jacarandas’ which is essentially a vehicle  for the vocal artistry of Ellen Johnson."- Soul & Jazz & Funk review

Music by Luiz Millan

Arranged by Michel Freidenson

Produced by Arnaldo DeSouteiro

Voted Best Female Singer and Best Vocal CD 2015 for the 37th Annual Jazz Station Awards Along with Ahmad Jamal, Ron Carter, Steve Gadd, Airto Moreira, Bob Mintzer, Vic Juris, Tom Harrell, Mark Egan, Otmaro Ruiz, Jean-Luc Ponty, Hubert Laws, Ellen Johnson and Boris Savoldelli.  ” - Arnaldo DeSouteiro

Jazz Station

A highly talented writer, educator and musician, Ellen Johnson is rightly admired by many. Form & Formless presents a thoroughly enjoyable recital of contemporary jazz singing at its very best from an artist of real stature. Unreservedly recommended. ” - Bruce Crowther

Jazz Journal

When it comes to shaping wordless gems, Johnson packs as imaginative a wallop as the mighty McFerrin. An accomplished jazz educator, Johnson was herself taught, at least in part, by Sheila Jordan. (Johnson returned the favor by writing the excellent Jordan biography Jazz Child, released last fall.) Jordan’s influence, particularly her fearlessness, is strongly felt across all 10 of these tracks, all crafted as duos with alternating guitarists John Stowell and Larry Koonse.” - Christopher Louden


Everything works on Form & Formless, one of Ellen Johnson's finest recordings. ” - Scott Yanow

Los Angeles Jazz Scene

...a beautiful new album of duets Form & Formless. Collaborating with guitarists Larry Koonse and John Stowell, she recorded impromptu improvisations, an ethereal wordless rendition John Coltrane’s “Naima,” and a celebratory version of Sonny Rollins’ “St. Thomas,” rechristened with her original lyrics as “Sonny’s Isle of St. Thomas.”” - Andrew Gilbert


Get a load of Ellen Johnson’s latest album, Form and Formless. She does a series of rich duets with guitarists Larry Koonse and John Stowell, mixing clever and personal takes of material such as “Naima” and “Nature Boy,” but also does some rich and rewarding free from work that is bluesy, melodious and swingingly arty. This disc will renew your faith in jazz vocals once again.” - George Harris

Jazz Weekly

ELLEN JOHNSON WRAPS HER COMPELLING VOICE AROUND THE STANDARDS The tunes are very carefully selected and help to characterize her as a singer with much more than just fine taste in jazz and the blues. Her ‘Sonny’s Isle of St Thomas’ is a sunny and winsome tribute to the legendary tenor saxophonist. The wordless take on ‘Naima’ is reverential. Mingus’s 1946 composition, ‘Weird Nightmare’ (aka ‘Pipe Dream’) is haunting and evocative. Johnson owes a stylistic debt to Sheila Jordan, her long-time mentor. The freely improvised and less free form aspects of the album sizzle with originality. Paring things down to the essentials of voice and guitar was an inspired creative decision. A gifted songstress with an ear for strong melodies. The elliptical takes on "Round Midnight" and "St Thomas" bear this out amply. I especially liked Nolan Shaheed's scene-setting and very bluesy trumpet solos." ” - John Stevenson

Ejazz News

“Many musicians touch the heart or the mind or the soul, some reach out to more than one of these, only a few appeal to all. With her new album, Ellen Johnson is clearly one of these select few.”  - Bruce Crowther, jazz historian and author of over 30 books including Singing Jazz and The Jazz Singers from Ragtime to New Wave” - Bruce Crowther

— Jazz Mostly

On some of the tunes, she sings words. On others she uses her voice like an instrument. To me, on many of these instrument-like vocals, she sounds like a flute. She hits the notes fully in the center- very much in-tune. I wondered if she has perfect pitch—sounds like it. This is not a standard jazz recording and, because of the form and style, will not have universal appeal. However, this was an intriguing recording for me. I look for future offerings from this talented singer. Now I can understand how Sheila Jordan might have chosen her—not a well-established author—to write her biography.” - Norman Vickers

Jazz Society of Pensacola