Each year since 2003 vocalist Judi Silvano has presented a concert featuring the music of female jazz composers during Women's History Month in March. In 2006 she recorded this effort live at New York City's Sweet Rhythm and the result is Women's Work, a collection of eleven inviting songs written by Abbey Lincoln, Blossom Dearie, Sheila Jordan, Bessie Smith and Silvano herself, among others.
Silvano used only female musicians for her bandJanice Friedman (piano), Jennifer Vincent (bass) and Allison Miller (drums); each distinguishes herself as a player and, in Friedman's case, as a composer as well. The all-woman band serves the album's concept, but given that skilled female jazz instrumentalists are becoming more numerous and more prominent, one hopes that the concept will make less of a statement as time goes on than it once did (or does). One day, perhaps, it will suffice it to say that Silvano works with good peopleand she does.
Silvano brings a wealth of experience as a singer and bandleader to this disc, the latest release for JSL Records, her label with husband Joe Lovano, the Grammy-winning saxophonist. Her voice is rich, her delivery self-assured, and her scatting informed and expansive in reachespecially on the self-penned original, "New Dance, a Latin vocalese tune (also with dynamic soloing by Friedman on piano). While Silvano's stylistic choices run the gamut, her deep voice serves two compelling blues tunes especially well"What's Your Story Morning Glory, by Mary Lou Williams, and the traditional Bessie Smith song, "Backwater Blues.
Silvano attributes much of her jazz inspiration to Sheila Jordan and Abbey Lincoln and includes two compositions by these singer/songwriters. "Ballad For Miles, Sheila Jordan's tribute to Miles Davis and his musical peers, is a reflective ballad that opens with Vincent's free bowing on an expressive bass solo and highlights Silvano's dreamy vocals. Sheila Jordan's "Not To Worry is a spry mid-tempo with lots of animated solo work by each band member. Other noteworthy cuts: the poignant "Why Do I Still Dream Of You? by Meredith D'Ambrosio and Silvano's tropical-flavored samba, "Bougainvillea.
Bougainvillea; Pretty Eyed Baby; Inside A Silent Treat; Not to Worry; Why Do I Still Dream of You?; New Dance; Easy to Love; What's Your Story Morning Glory; Ballad for Miles; Can't Get My Motor to Start; Backwater Blues.