Home » Jazz Articles » Judy Wexler: Under A Painted Sky

197

Album Review

Judy Wexler: Under A Painted Sky

By

Sign in to view read count
Judy Wexler: Under A Painted Sky
Few singers would dare dive into music associated with Johnny Mathis, Carmen McRae, Abbey Lincoln and the 1962 film, The Music Man, on the same album; even fewer would be able to pull it off as vocalist Judy Wexler does on Under A Painted Sky. Wexler possesses a voice for the ages, and puts it to good use on a dozen delicious numbers that cover myriad moods and spotlight the stellar instrumentalists in her band.

Wexler's prior releases—Easy On The Heart (Rhombus, 2005) and Dreams And Shadows (Jazzed Media, 2008)— were elevated by classy arrangements and pianistic underpinnings from pianist Alan Pasqua, and this partnership continues to bear fruit on this project. Pasqua paints pictures of a sunny nature ("Wonderful Wonderful"), crafts spine-tingling settings ("Avec Le Temps") and directs swinging scenes that delight in every way ("The Great City" and "Whisper Not"), leaving Wexler free to fully explore the possibilities that reside within each one of these gems.

Wexler's vocals are ebullient and enthusiastic on "Wonderful Wonderful," as the album gets underway, but she isn't all sunshine and splendor. She deals in flirty and sensual singing on "An Occasional Man," delivers enthralling vocals of a haunting nature with "Avec Le Temps," touches on the ups-and-downs in the game of love during "And How I Hoped For Your Love," and utters a wise warning about getting sucked into the quicksand of New York's social scene with "The Great City."

While Wexler needs no help selling any of these songs, the instrumentalists add volumes to each piece, as they mirror the moods that are established through the arrangements and vocals. Tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer adds some grit to "The Great City," Bob Sheppard's soprano saxophone swoops and soars with a fine balance between grace and gusto on "Till There Was You," and Walt Fowler's flugelhorn emphasizes the dream-like state of "Café." Pasqua and guitarist Larry Koonse blend well, whether dealing with Brazilian- laced music ("And How I Hoped For Your Love") or songs of peace and hope ("Sack Full Of Dreams"), and the bass and drums team of Darek Oles and Steve Hass has a terrific hookup in virtually every stylistic setting.

While both of Wexler's previous albums were outstanding displays of her vocal talent, Under A Painted Sky is her best yet—the third time truly is the charm.

Track Listing

Wonderful Wonderful; And How I Hoped For Your Love; An Occasional Man; Don't Wait Too Long; The Great City; Avec le Temps; A Little Tear; Last Time For Love; Café; Whisper Not; Till There Was You; Sack Full Of Dreams.

Personnel

Judy Wexler: vocals; Alan Pasqua: piano; Darek Oles: bass; Steve Hass: drums; Larry Koonse: guitar; Bob Mintzer: tenor saxophone; Bob Sheppard: soprano saxophone; Walt Fowler: trumper, flugelhorn; Alex Acuna: percussion.

Album information

Title: Under A Painted Sky | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Jazzed Media

Post a comment about this album


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Popular

Exude
Francesca Han & Ralph Alessi
Baker's Dozen
The Muffins
Blues & Bach: The Music Of John Lewis
Enrico Pieranunzi Trio & Orchestra
The Border
Douwe Eisenga

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.