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 is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.