Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

195

Judy Wexler: Dreams & Shadows

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Blessed to have an ocean's share of jazz singers on board, California remains home to some of the best. When Judy Wexler studied classical piano and then theater, the seeds of jazz had already been sown into her psyche. It was a natural progression: partly because she lived just a block up from San Francisco's legendary Keystone Korner, and partly because the skills that she'd already mastered blend so well into jazz singing.

Along with a crew of Southern California jazz stalwarts, Wexler applies her golden-throated soprano voice to this program of melodies with aplomb. Her vocalese marries with Jeff Colella's piano lines on "In Love in Vain" for a spot-on adventure that runs her vocal range from the top of Mount Hollywood to the shores of Sunset Beach. Agile and accurate, she expresses the song's message clearly through its lyrics as well as through her acrobatic binge.

She contrasts that varied adventure with "Photograph," which allows her voice to meander solemnly with piano and cello through a torrid affair. Wexler remains equally at ease with a slow ballad as with an up-tempo romp. Throughout the session, she's able to let things run free and natural because her sidemen work so well with her. Double bassist Darek Oles, pianists Colella and Alan Pasqua, drummers Steve Hass and Joe LaBarbera, trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos and saxophonist Bob Sheppard provide mutual support that puts her session on top. Through many portions of her program, Wexler blends her voice with the ensemble as if it were one of the instruments. On "If I Only Had a Brain," for example, she weaves around Sheppard's soprano as if the two were twins.

Songs by Elvis Costello, Blossom Dearie, Frank Rosolino and Burt Bacharach complete her program with the strength of jazz lions. From the blue of Hollywood and Vine at midnight to the sand-colored tan of Santa Monica and Malibu, her program reflects the variety that jazz has to offer. By closing with lyrics to "Blue Daniel," she pairs with Tollak Ollestad's harmonica for a sojourn that guarantees remembrance. Her first album, Easy on the Heart, opened the door for this talented jazz singer. Dreams & Shadows applies the cement that binds her to an audience fortunate to have her.


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

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 & Shadows | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Jazzed Media


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 21 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 21
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Birdhoused" CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Two Of A Kind" CD/LP/Track Review Two Of A Kind
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "Just Left of Center" CD/LP/Track Review Just Left of Center
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "Pensamiento" CD/LP/Track Review Pensamiento
by James Nadal
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Straight Ahead From Havana" CD/LP/Track Review Straight Ahead From Havana
by James Nadal
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Mellophonium Memoirs" CD/LP/Track Review Mellophonium Memoirs
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 8, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!