Silvano and Breyer-Grell Reinterpret Standards

Elliott Simon By

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In the fluid landscape of female jazz vocalists where divas flow between jazz and pop, new releases from both Melody Breyer-Grell and Judi Silvano are all about jazz. Both are well known to NYC club goers, Breyer-Grell for her association with the late vocal jazz mecca Chez Suzette and more recently with Triad; Silvano for diverse projects that have featured her wide range and eclectic repertoire.

Judi Silvano
Let Yourself Go

With Let Yourelf Go , Silvano has assembled a CD that beautifully blends pianist/arranger Michael Abene's little big band with her interesting vocal treatments. Billed as a present for her mom's 80th birthday, Silvano's snippets of vocalese, repartee with the instrumentalists and Albene's arrangements make this program—that includes eleven highly recorded standards—most notable. Irving Berlin's title piece has Albene's captivating chords leading the band through an otherwise straight-ahead interpretation that features a fine Ingrid Jensen trumpet solo. Jensen is likewise front and center adding muted coloration to a slow ballad interpretation of "Let's Fall in Love." Bassist Rufus Reid is another musical standout as he duets with Silvano on "I'm In the Mood for Love" and takes things into his own hands on "I Could Write a Book." Cole Porter's "I Love Paris" is given a new feel courtesy of Akua Dixon's cello and Roger Rosenberg's bass clarinet while his "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" goes Latin courtesy of Mayra Casales' percussion and Jamie Baum's alto flute.

Melody Breyer-Grell
The Right Time

Breyer-Grell possesses a voice that is perfectly suited to deliver the traditional jazz ballad. Without vocal pyrotechnics, she is able to use pitch, tone and phrasing in a controlled way to induce deep moods. For her second CD of standards, The Right Time , she has chosen her band with much care. Pianist Gloria Cooper is a significant presence on every cut, allowing Breyer-Grell to have her way with the ballads while pushing her to break into a trot for the necessary up-tempo moments. John Hart's guitar provides an energizing bite to cuts like "You Don't Know What Love Is" and "Watch What Happens" and a bluesy backdrop to "You Go to My Head." While Hart's solos refreshingly contrast with Breyer-Grell's rich vocals, Noah Bloom's trumpet adds to the lush feel of ballads like "Does Anybody Here Love Me" and "I've Never Been in Love Before." An enticing atmosphere results from the cat and mouse interplay on the piano/vocal duet "Invitation" while all contribute to an enchanting version of "Out of This World."

Let Yourself Go

Tracks: 1. Let Yourself Go; 2. Let's Fall In Love; 3. Why Do I Love You?; 4. I'm In The Mood For Love; 5. I Only Have Eyes For You; 6. When I Fall In Love; 7. I Could Write A Book; 8. I Love Paris; 9. Our Love Is Here To Stay; 10. Goodbye; 11. Everytime We Say Goodbye.
Personnel: Judi Silvano (voice), Michael Abene (piano, arranger, conductor), Rufus Reid (bass), Newman Taylor-Baker (drums), Dick Oatts (soprano sax, alto sax), Ingrid Jensen (trumpet, flugelhorn), Roger Rosenberg (bass clarinet, baritone sax), Akua Dixon (cello), Dan Silverman (trombone), Jamie Baum (alto flute), Mayra Casales (percussion), Nita Goodgal (background vocals on #11).

The Right Time

Tracks: 1. You Don't Know What Love Is; 2. Does Anybody Here Love Me; 3. Invitation; 4. Watch What Happens; 5. You Go To My Head; 6. Out Of This World; 7. I Didn't Know What Time It Was; 8. I've Never Been In Love Before; 9. This Is New; 10. Close Your Eyes.
Personnel: Melody Breyer-Grell (voice), Gloria Cooper (piano), Noah Bloom (trumpet), John Hart (guitar), Neal Miner (bass), Andy Watson (drums), Kahlil Kwame Bell (percussion, drums).

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