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Judy Wexler

Born: April 17    Primary Instrument: Vocalist

Judy Wexler

“To merit being called a jazz singer you have to have something to say-your own story-as it moves you the and there.” …. Nat Hentoff

Vocalist Judy Wexler has been garnering rave reviews and fans across the country and around the world. A touring and recording artist, she has headlined at jazz festivals, performing arts centers and major jazz clubs both nationally and internationally. She released her 4th CD, “What I See,” in September 2013 on the Jazzed Media label. Receiving wide national jazz radio airplay and stellar reviews, “What I See” showcases Wexler’s close creative ties to her longtime pianist/arranger and co-producer Jeff Colella. Music Man Blog calls the CD “one of the best jazz albums of the year!”...
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JAZZTIMES ”Though Judy Wexler’s reputation as one of the West Coast’s most compelling vocalists was cemented some time ago, What I See, her fourth release, suggests a heightened maturity, an even greater sense of assured imagination. Much like Abbey Lincoln—and at this point in Wexler’s musical progress, the comparison is quite valid—her skills as an actress are skillfully exercised, adding vivid shadings to her interpretations.”

ALL ABOUT JAZZ “Judy Wexler is more than a mere singer of songs. She’s an actress, mood painter, song archaeologist, and vocalist par excellence. What I See is a marvel of sincerity and beauty.”

MUSIC MAN BLOG “One of the best jazz albums of the year.”

SOUNDSTAGE EXPERIENCE “Wexler deserves comparison with the very best jazz singers working today.”

ALL ABOUT JAZZ “One of the deepest relationships in jazz blossomed on the West Coast in the 1950s, when singer June Christy and arranger Pete Rugolo combined their gifts on numerous albums…The deep understanding between the two artists was particularly evident in their choice of songs; both had an eye for the unusual and the neglected, as well as lyrics that conveyed emotions of a more complex hue. This legendary synergy is mirrored in the modern-day relationship between West Coast singer Judy Wexler and arranger Jeff Colella, a bond that comprises the heart of Wexler’s excellent fourth album, What I See.”

F.A.M.E. (Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange) ”In terms of originality via interpretation, this singer is a deconstructionist who tears down the elements to find what others missed, then puts it all together again, but always with a bright positive spin even when wistful. The blissful equanimity with which Wexler addresses the philosophy and music is exquisite, so much so that there’s nothing to add, nothing to subtract.”

MIDWEST RECORD “A hard driving kind of seduction … Wexler can’t help become a hipster darling with this outing”

CRITICAL JAZZ “What I See is one of the finer examples of what connecting to a song is all about”

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER “If you’re up for something of an adventurous program exploring what may be new territory, this is an album you are going to want to hear.”

JAZZTIMES ”There's a marvelous clarity about Judy Wexler, both in terms of her immaculate phrasing and intonation and in her ability to strip a song, any song, to its bare essence, fully capturing its spirit and soul without an ounce of pretense or affectation.”

ALL ABOUT JAZZ ”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.”

THE JAZZ PAGE ”Another fantastic outing for Wexler”

MIDWEST RECORD ”A top shelf recording throughout.”

JAZZ SOCIETY OF OREGON ”Wexler possesses a nearly engrained feeling for delivering a lyric with total honesty.”

NPR WEEKEND EDITION “From the evidence on her new second album, Dreams & Shadows, Judy Wexler can sing almost anything.” — Susan Stamberg

ALL MUSIC GUIDE(4.5 Stars) ”Rare is the jazz vocal CD that makes one stand up and take notice on the first hearing. But Judy Wexler achieves that reaction with her brilliant Dreams & Shadows, in part due to her instinctive ability to bring out the best in each song, often taking it into unfamiliar territory… Judy Wexler deserves widespread recognition for her outstanding CD.” — Ken Dryden

JazzTimes MAGAZINE ”So refreshingly good, so fundamentally gifted is Judy Wexler… now, with this exalted follow-up to 2005's superb Easy on the Heart, Wexler proves she's ready to join the top rank of female jazz vocalists. — Christopher Loudon

JAZZ IMPROV MAGAZINE Judy Wexler is a great singer and Dreams & Shadows is a great CD. —Dave Miele

WASHINGTON POST “West Coast jazz vocalist Judy Wexler not only knows her way around a bop tune, fluidly negotiating angular intervals and racing tempos, she knows how to personalize a pop tune, no matter how familiar or faded. On Dreams & Shadows, her second CD, Wexler finds inspiration in a refreshing assortment of songs, consistently displaying her interpretative finesse.” — Mike Joyce

EJAZZNEWS (5 Stars) ”Since 1999, Judy Wexler has wowed local L.A. audiences with her pitch-perfect vocals sung as jazz should be sung with soul, style, clear articulation and the ability to swing with the best of them… Bebop is alive and well under the tutelage of Judy Wexler as she parlays “Pent Up House” into a soon to be classic. This singer has all the necessary ingredients and a sense of time that is remarkable. I remember Judy Wexler from her early years as a very hip singer with all the inherent tools to be a force in the jazz genre...and it's no surprise that she has emerged as just that, a star among stars.” — John Gilbert

SOUNDSTAGE! ”Judy Wexler pulls you into her music with a combination of wit, style and knowingness that must make a lyricist very pleased that she's chosen to interpret his or her words. On top of that, her playful way with a tune and the wonderful fluidity of her voice would make any melodist smile. With her sharp jazz instincts and formidable vocal skills, she knows exactly where to stretch or alter time and when to veer slightly from the melody… Some buzz seems to be building around Wexler and, for once, it's deserved.” — Joseph Taylor

JERSEY JAZZ ”Wexler has a distinctive, voice full of shadings, and simply knows how to dig into a song and find its essence. Speaking of songs, Wexler has chosen an interesting and eclectic program… This is an impressive collection by a singer who is sure to attract lots of attention with quality efforts like this.” — Joe Lang

PRIMETIME A&E ”Dreams & Shadows is Wexler's baby all the way, one that can claim turf on the small landscape of genuinely great modern jazz vocalist recordings… This CD puts Wexler solidly among the ranks of the really good singers like Kate McGarry and Tierney Sutton. On Dreams & Shadows she sounds exceedingly relaxed and comfortable throughout, and exhibits just enough fearlessness, daring and control that everything here just clicks.” — Nick Bewsey (New Hope, PA)

JazzTimes MAGAZINE “This debut album is simply sensational. Wexler emerges as one of the most focused, unpretentious, no-nonsense, bop-oriented jazz singers around. She boasts range, firm intonation, and the kind of enunciation that makes her the darling of lyricists.” — Harvey Siders

ALL ABOUT JAZZ “Her assertive, no-frills delivery is a dominant and pleasant feature in her singing, as it focuses our attention on the clear and lucid storytelling. The extras in her style are subtle, delicate, well-timed, purposeful and a testament to her good taste…she clearly knows what liberties to take, what lines to stretch and, more importantly, how to enchant us fully.” — Germein Linares

JAZZIZ MAGAZINE ”Easy on the Heart has one memorable performance after another. The repertoire is filled with superior obscurities and occasional standards. Wexler interprets the diverse material with sensitivity and understated swing, sticking to the lyrics and putting plenty of feeling into the words. Her handling of the difficult lyrics of Meredith D'Ambrosio's “Gorgeous Creature” is impressive, as is her ability to stretch herself to include the Beatles' “In My Life” and Bob Dylan's “Don't Think Twice.” — Scott Yanow

ALL ABOUT JAZZ ”This is one special jazz vocal debut album from Los Angeles area-based Judy Wexler. Thirteen well chosen tunes reflect a wide spectrum of popular music, and nary a one can be accused of being over-exposed over the decades…This album stands miles ahead in the proliferating femme jazz vocal field. I can only hope that it will find its way to the in-baskets of the various jazz radio programmers, and fast!” — Michael Gladstone


Under a Painted Sky
Jazzed Media
2011
Tracks: 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; Cafe; Whisper Not; Till There Was You; Sack Full of Dreams
Personnel:
Alan Pasqua: arranger, piano
Larry Koonse, guitar
Darek Oles, bass
Steve Hass, drums
Alex Acuna, percussion
Bob Sheppard, soprano sax
Bob Mintzer, tenor sax
Walt Fowler, trumpet


Dreams & Shadows
Jazzed Media
2008
Tracks: Comes Love; Dreams & Shadows (Delilah); In Love in Vain; Photograph; Spooky; If I Only Had a Brain; Almost Blue; Bye Bye Country Boy; Pent Up House; One Less Bell to Answer; Don't Be on the Outside; Summer is Gone; Life's a Lesson (Blue Daniel)
Personnel:
Alan Pasqua: arranger, piano
Jeff Colella, arranger, piano
Darek Oles, bass
Joe LaBarbera, drums
Steve Hass, drums
Bob Sheppard, woodwinds
Gilbert Castellanos, trumpet
Tollak Olestad, harmonica
Stefanie Fife, cello


Easy on the Heart
Rhombus Records
2005
Tracks: Moment to Moment; I'm in Love; Humdrums Blues; Easy on the Heart; Nobody Else But Me; In My Life; Beautiful Love/Gorgeous Creature; Tell Him I Said Hello; Love is a Necessary Evil; Don't Think Twice; If you Could Love Me; Down Here on the Ground; I Got Lost in His Arms
Personnel:
Alan Pasqua: arranger, piano
Darek Oles, bass
Tim Pleasant, drums
Bob Sheppard, woodwinds
Steve Campos, trumpet

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