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Vocalise (1996)

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Joe Lovano

Although Judi Silvano shows that she can sing words beautifully, the emphasis on this adventurous set (her debut as a leader) is on her wordless vocalizing. With the assistance of guitarist Vic Juris, bassist Drew Gress, drummer Bob Meyer, and sometimes her husband Joe Lovano (on tenor and, on one tune, drums), trumpeter Dave Ballou and Oscar Noriega on bass clarinet and alto, Silvano contantly challenges herself on melodies by Billy Strayhorn ("Daydream"), Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus ("Weird Nightmare"), Duke Ellington, four of her originals, and even pieces by Rachmaninoff, Ravel and Charles Ives. The treatments range from almost standard ballads to collective improvisations, and all in all, this is an impressive effort. ~ Scott Yanow