Easy on the Heart

Easy on the Heart

by Judy Wexler
     
 
In the jazz world, there is a joke that goes like this: how many vocalists does it take to sing "My Funny Valentine"? All of them. That joke is a response to what can be called the "warhorse factor" -- that is, improvisers who stick to the most overdone Tin Pan Alley warhorses and don't do anything unusual with them (something that instrumentalists and singers are

Overview

In the jazz world, there is a joke that goes like this: how many vocalists does it take to sing "My Funny Valentine"? All of them. That joke is a response to what can be called the "warhorse factor" -- that is, improvisers who stick to the most overdone Tin Pan Alley warhorses and don't do anything unusual with them (something that instrumentalists and singers are both guilty of). It isn't that the improvisers are performing bad material; no one is saying that "My Funny Valentine" and "Our Love Is Here to Stay" aren't great songs, but they're songs that have been totally beaten to death -- and the fact is that jazz artists who perform warhorses exclusively are just plain lazy. Well, no one will accuse Judy Wexler's debut album, Easy on the Heart, of being plagued by the warhorse factor. The California vocalist obviously realizes that worthwhile songs don't just come from Tin Pan Alley, and she successfully brings her interpretive powers to everything from Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," the Beatles' "In My Life," and Henry Mancini's "Moment to Moment" to Abbey Lincoln's "I'm in Love." Wexler includes some Tin Pan Alley material as well -- most notably, Jerome Kern's "Nobody Else But Me" and Irving Berlin's "I Got Lost in His Arms" -- but even then, she doesn't go for the beaten-to-death warhorses. Of course, having an interesting, far-reaching repertoire wouldn't mean much if Wexler couldn't sing -- and thankfully, she has a big, appealing voice and a healthy sense of swing to go with her broad-minded song selection. Hard-swinging but with a definite romantic streak, Wexler is someone admirers of Abbey Lincoln or Dianne Reeves should have no problem getting into -- and she's someone who shows a lot of promise on her memorable debut album.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/15/2005
Label:
Rhombus Records
UPC:
0768707704828
catalogNumber:
7048
Rank:
228249

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Judy Wexler   Primary Artist
Bob Sheppard   Bass Clarinet,Saxophone
Steve Campos   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Darek Oles   Bass
Alan Pasqua   Piano
Tim Pleasant   Drums

Technical Credits

Lalo Schifrin   Composer
Henry Mancini   Composer
Irving Berlin   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Meredith d'Ambrosio   Composer
Norman Simmons   Composer
Oscar Brown   Composer
Jerome Kern   Composer
Abbey Lincoln   Composer
Peter Doell   Engineer
Geoff Gillette   Engineer
Charlie Haden   Composer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Arthur Hamilton   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Alan Pasqua   Arranger
Victor Young   Composer
M. Fisher   Composer
J. Segal   Composer
Alan Weissman   Cover Photo,Insert Photography
Carlos Del Rosario   Engineer

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