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Bobbi Wilsyn has been working with Bill Russo's Chicago Jazz Ensemble for the last 10 years. She also teaches voice at Columbia College of Chicago. She now has a CD under her own name with a title that is right on mark. That it took so long to happen substantiates the view that most record company executives have their head in the sand when it comes to recording new artists. Working with a play list of standards, originals and contemporary material, Wilsyn addresses each of them with a voice endowed with perfect pitch, excellent diction and wide range. Just as important, she invests just the right dose of emotional involvement, never too much to make the delivery maudlin, never too little so as to give an impression of being cold and blase. Among the fine tracks is an outstanding rendition of "I Didn't Know What Time It Was". What makes this cut especially compelling is not only Wilsyn's jazzy way with the tune, but the work of the musicians she has brought into the studio with her. This track features good sax work by Pat Mallinger and by the rhythm section led by the piano of Miguel de la Cerna. On a more romantic note, Wilsyn offers one of the finer interpretations of "Estate (Summer)" on record, with Mallinger's soulful sax working underneath. On "Here's That Rainy Day" Frank Dawson's guitar is the consummate compliment to Wilsyn's heartfelt tendering of this standard making it a track worth the price of admission by itself.
Wilsyn's students need to heed what she is teaching because this album vividly demonstrates that when it comes to vocal interpretation and delivery, she knows what she's talking about. Recommended.
Track Listing: It's About Time; Tuesday Afternoon; A Time for Love; Saturday; Here's That Rainy Day; Spend Some Time with You; Summer in the City; Estate (Summer); I Didn't Know What Time It Was; `Tis Autumn; Take Your Time
Personnel: Bobbi Wilsyn - Vocal; Miguel de la Cerna - Piano/Keyboards/Backup Vocals; Jim Cox - Bass; Frank Parker - Drums; Pat Mallinger - Tenor Sax; Curtis Robinson, Frank Dawson - Guitar; Kim Frost, Vikki Stokes - Backup Vocals
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.