JUDY WEXLER, UNDER A PAINTED SKY

You don’t have to look far to hear a true jazz singer. That would be Judy Wexler and she’s someone who’s got the smarts to understand a lyrical phrase and knows how to tell a story. A chanteuse to be reckoned with, Wexler teams again with pianist/arranger extraordinaire Alan Pasqua for her third album, “Under A Painted Sky” (Jazzed Media Records.)

Golden voiced with spot-on enunciation and a natural loveliness, Wexler whoops it up in grand fashion (“Wonderful Wonderful”), handles samba with gentle aplomb (“A Little Tear”) and swings the dickens out of Benny Golson’s finger-popping “Whisper Not.” She respectfully takes for her own two tunes associated with great jazz vocalists, Abbey Lincoln’s “And How I Hoped For Your Love” and “The Great City” once popularized by Shirley Horn back in the 60s.

Bassist Darek Oles, drummer Steve Haas, saxophonists Bob Mintzer (tenor) and Bob Sheppard (soprano) guitarist Larry Koonse, trumpeter Walt Fowler and percussionist Alex Acuna provide the kind of top-tier support that Wexler deserves and it’s worth giving Pasqua additional credit for creating a open soundstage that’s both intimate and welcoming. If there’s one tune missing among the dozen high-quality standards and tunes that Wexler interprets, it would be the song that best defines her – Cole Porter’s “So Easy To Love.”  (12 tracks; 59:05 minutes) 

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JAZZ IN SPACE: JUDY WEXLER, UNDER A PAINTED SKY

Sunday, September 11, 2011

JUDY WEXLER, UNDER A PAINTED SKY

You don’t have to look far to hear a true jazz singer. That would be Judy Wexler and she’s someone who’s got the smarts to understand a lyrical phrase and knows how to tell a story. A chanteuse to be reckoned with, Wexler teams again with pianist/arranger extraordinaire Alan Pasqua for her third album, “Under A Painted Sky” (Jazzed Media Records.)

Golden voiced with spot-on enunciation and a natural loveliness, Wexler whoops it up in grand fashion (“Wonderful Wonderful”), handles samba with gentle aplomb (“A Little Tear”) and swings the dickens out of Benny Golson’s finger-popping “Whisper Not.” She respectfully takes for her own two tunes associated with great jazz vocalists, Abbey Lincoln’s “And How I Hoped For Your Love” and “The Great City” once popularized by Shirley Horn back in the 60s.

Bassist Darek Oles, drummer Steve Haas, saxophonists Bob Mintzer (tenor) and Bob Sheppard (soprano) guitarist Larry Koonse, trumpeter Walt Fowler and percussionist Alex Acuna provide the kind of top-tier support that Wexler deserves and it’s worth giving Pasqua additional credit for creating a open soundstage that’s both intimate and welcoming. If there’s one tune missing among the dozen high-quality standards and tunes that Wexler interprets, it would be the song that best defines her – Cole Porter’s “So Easy To Love.”  (12 tracks; 59:05 minutes) 

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