On this very soothing collection of twelve passionate songs, vocalist Andrea Wolper delivers the lyrics with meticulous phrasing, allowing every word to curl oh-so-slowly off her tongue. Accompanying her on perhaps the most emotion-laden track, "Night Time Was My Mother," are trumpeter Frank London, who plays alongside every syllable, and bassist Ken Filiano. Victor Lewis and Jamey Haddad, who split the drumming duties, also make key contributions.
"You and the Night and the Music" differs from most of the selections in that it has a safari-like melody, but that does not detract from the overall tone and feeling of The Small Hours. To the contrary, this piece actually enhances the energy of the remaining eleven songs. Wolper demonstrates her versatility by juxtaposing it with the blues-based "Gray, Not Blue." Filiano and guitarist Ron Affif do yeoman's work, giving this song a boost of energy.
"Today," one of the more up-tempo moments on The Small Hours, draws its toe-tapping melody from Filiano's walking pattern and Affif's crisp notes, while Wolper sings around the accompanists, creatively adding the requisite amount of scat singing. Her sassy approach makes this even more aurally appealing.
This recording is a reminder that the voice is indeed the first instrument. The way Wolper elicits emotion and passion suggests that she actually cares about what she's singing about, and is not simply going through the motions. The Small Hours is strongly recommended, in large part because each selection tells a unique story. And the variety of different moods and tones, interestingly, do complement each other in some cases.
Dancing on the Ceiling; You and the Night and the Music; Grey, Not
Blue; Night Time Was My Mother; Crazy Love; Rendezvous in Providence; Today;
Not Sleeping in Your Arms; Little Suzie's Humming; Moanin'; Small Day Tomorrow;
I Like You; You're Nice.
Andrea Wolper: vocals and arrangements; Ron Affif: guitar; Ken Filiano: bass; Victor Lewis:
drums (2,4); Jamey Haddad: drums (7,9,11); Frank London: trumpet, flugelhorn; Lou
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.