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Friday, January 20, 2017

CD Review: Audrey Silver - Very Early

Audrey Silver (vocals); Bruce Barth (piano); Paul Beaudry (bass); Lewis Nash (drums); Alex Pope Norris (trumpet); Gary Versace (accordion); Ron Affif (guitar); Tom Beckham (vibes)
(Review by Ann Alex)
One of the best things about this enjoyable CD is the interesting choice of songs. I haven’t previously come across any of them on a jazz CD: there are 2 by Audrey Silver herself, songs by Sting, Declan O’Rourke, a song in French, 2 songs with lyrics by poets, and also 2 songs from musicals which aren’t usually done by jazz singers (Surrey With The Fringe On Top and Getting To Know You). And the style is unmistakably jazzlike, vocals with clear diction in a pleasing alto voice and lots of space for instrumental soloing. Not so much once through the chorus, then solos, but rather a piano and vocal lead, followed by the other instruments contributing at various parts of the songs. The accordion, guitar, trumpet and vibes are not on every track, but are used wisely where appropriate. 

Six of the 12 songs were especially good. Surrey With The Fringe On Top is played in 5/4 time to indicate the skewed movement of this type of vehicle; Getting To Know You is very cleverly done as a song about a stalker, with the singer distorting the tune, sinister chords on piano and a muted trumpet; Goodbye New York has effective lyrics by a poet, Deborah Garrison, which list the characteristics of that city, eg ‘You were ugly and gorgeous but never pretty’. Sting’s Until, a song about love at first sight, features bowed bass, accordion, and muted trumpet;  Lemon Twist (Bobby Troup) comes over as an advert for the health benefits of lemons, with cool-sounding vibes; Lucky To Be Me (music by Bernstein) is a real swinger, the most jazzlike of all the tracks.
Audrey Silver is admired on the New York jazz scene and this is her third album. She has studied classical piano and cello and has worked in business and advertising. She says she wants people to hear this CD and feel better than they did before, and I believe that she has achieved this, with me at any rate.
The CD was released on November 14, 2016. See www.audreysilver.com

Ann Alex

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