All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

282

Judy Wexler: Dreams and Shadows

Florence Wetzel By

Sign in to view read count
Vocalist Judy Wexler has a multifaceted background, including performing in a theater collective, appearing on the TV show Frasier, and studying psychology. Wexler has been involved with jazz throughout her life, including years of studying the piano, but after her mother's death in 1999 Wexler decided to take the plunge and start performing. And thank goodness she did: Wexler is a breath of fresh air, a clear, clean voice that imbues life into every song she enters.

In 2005 Wexler received strong reviews for her first CD, Easy on the Heart, and now her follow-up is garnering accolades for the Los Angeles-based singer. It's easy to hear why—the thirteen songs are entirely appealing, whether joyful, melancholy, or mischievous. One of Wexler's virtues is her instinct for interesting songs; like fellow West-coast singer June Christy, Wexler has an ear for unusual tunes that convey mixed emotions. Consider Blossom Dearie's "Bye Bye Country Boy," where Wexler nails the song's intriguing mix of carelessness and regret. Other interesting choices include the decades-old pop song "Spooky," which Wexler transforms into an enjoyable jazz concoction, backed by Gilbert Castellanos' sinuous trumpet. And who would have anticipated that "If I Only Had a Brain" would transform so easily into a lilting jazz number? Wexler also shines on more familiar jazz fare, particularly Sonny Rollins' "Pent Up House," where she handles the song's shifting bop lines with perfect ease. Her interpretation of Elvis Costello's haunting "Almost Blue" is a fearless dive into the song's poignant center, and her voice is true and sure on the CD opener "Comes Love."

Wexler has a wealth of gifts, which elegantly unfold over the course of Dreams & Shadows. Yet she never overplays her assets; she is always sensitive to what each song needs, and this combined with her sincere connection to the lyrics makes Wexler an impressive talent.

Track Listing: Comes Love; Dreams & Shadows (Delilah); In Love In Vain; Photograph; Spooky; If I Only Had A Brain; Almost Blue; Bye Bye Country Boy; Pent Up House; One Less Bell To Answer; Don't Be On The Outside; Summer Is Gone; Life's A Lesson (Blue Daniel).

Personnel: Judy Wexler: vocals; Alan Pasqua: piano; Jeff Colella: piano; Darek Oles: double-bass; Steve Hass: drums; Joe LaBarbera: drums; Bob Sheppard: bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Gilbert Castellanos: trumpet; Tollak Ollestad: harmonica; Stefanie Fife: cello.

Title: Dreams and Shadows | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Jazzed Media

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
What I See

What I See

Jazzed Media
2013

buy
Under A Painted Sky

Under A Painted Sky

Jazzed Media
2011

buy
Dreams and Shadows

Dreams and Shadows

Jazzed Media
2009

buy
Dreams & Shadows

Dreams & Shadows

Jazzed Media
2008

buy
Easy On The Heart

Easy On The Heart

Rhombus Records
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read SuperClusters CD/LP/Track Review
SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Your Queen Is A Reptile CD/LP/Track Review
Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Melodious Drum CD/LP/Track Review
Melodious Drum
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 21, 2018
Read The Speed of Dark CD/LP/Track Review
The Speed of Dark
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "Alleviation" CD/LP/Track Review Alleviation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "...don't buy him a parrot..." CD/LP/Track Review ...don't buy him a parrot...
by John Sharpe
Published: January 29, 2018
Read "Before The Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "The Elements" CD/LP/Track Review The Elements
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 25, 2017
Read "Roll On" CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "Awakening" CD/LP/Track Review Awakening
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 2, 2018