197

Judy Wexler: Under A Painted Sky

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
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.

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


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "First Gathering" CD/LP/Track Review First Gathering
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Donora Autumn" CD/LP/Track Review Donora Autumn
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Blues, Preludes and Feuds" CD/LP/Track Review Blues, Preludes and Feuds
by Geannine Reid
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Duo (DCWM) 2013" CD/LP/Track Review Duo (DCWM) 2013
by John Sharpe
Published: July 28, 2017
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Adam's Apple" CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.