157

Andrea Wolper: Parallel Lives

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Andrea Wolper isn't just a jazz singer. Hearing her mid-song monologue with bass accompaniment, during her own "The Girls In Their Dresses," makes it clear that she's actually an actress choosing to communicate through the medium of jazz, and an utterly original one at that. On Parallel Lives, Wolper explores the music of Joni Mitchell, Hoagy Carmichael, Richard Rodgers, and Duncan Sheik, to name just a few, and she brings a dramatic flair to the work of each and every artist that she encounters.

Wolper is no purist, but her music is all delivered with purity and a sense of purpose that speaks volumes about the confidence she has in her artistry. She swings in snazzy fashion on Mitchell's "Be Cool," as she trades solos with guitarist Michael Howell, and reaches back to the singer/songwriter's beginnings with a breathtaking performance of "Song To A Seagull," delivered atop an impressionistic backdrop. While Wolper revels in the excitement that's created during many of these songs, she's at her absolute best in calmer environments, with the pared-down accompaniment on "Skylark" and "Maple Sugar Boy."

The only number that really fails to connect is "Blue Wind." The introduction is a collage of random sounds and, while interest is perked with the seemingly intentional clashes between Howell and pianist Kris Davis, the arrangement seems to lack the focus found on the other songs. Thankfully, eleven other fully-formed selections testify to Wolper's abilities and musical vision.

While Davis and Howell provide the harmonic underpinnings for Wolper's delicious readings, bassist Ken Filiano proves to be the most interesting musician on the date. His arco solo on "Why Aren't You Laughing?" is one of the most intriguing bass solos in recent memory, and he brings a sense of utter originality to an instrument that often plays the role of straight man on jazz recordings.

Parallel Lives is proof that fine singers need to live within the confines of a song in order to fully understand and communicate its intention, and Wolper makes herself at home on nearly every number in this collection.

Track Listing: Song To Seagull; The Girls In Their Dresses; Why Aren't You Laughing?; Skylark; Who Will Buy?; June Rose; Maple Sugar Boy; Blue Wind; Be Cool; Something Good; Waiting For Winter; Save Your Love For Me.

Personnel: Andrea Wolper: vocals; Kris Davis: piano; Michael Howell: guitar; Ken Filiano: bass; Michael TA Thompson: drums.

Title: Parallel Lives | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Jazzed Media

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

The Girls In Their Dresses

The Girls In Their Dresses

Andrea Wolper
Parallel Lives

Not Sleeping in Your Arms

Not Sleeping in Your Arms

Andrea Wolper
The Small Hours

Album Reviews
Take Five With...
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Parallel Lives

Parallel Lives

Jazzed Media
2011

buy
The Small Hours

The Small Hours

Varis One.Jazz
2006

buy
The Small Hours

The Small Hours

Varis One.Jazz
2005

buy
The Small Hours

The Small Hours

VarisOne.Jazz
0

buy

Related Articles

Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Requiem for a New York Slice Album Reviews
Requiem for a New York Slice
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Trion Album Reviews
Trion
By Dan McClenaghan
April 22, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 22, 2019
Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019