"Crowded Heart" is Ms. Wexler's 5th CD since her 2005 debut recording "Easy on the Heart". Full disclosure...I am a huge fan & highly recommend all of her CD's. Her past work has included a nice combination of standards & more contemporary songs, often sharing the results of her search for less familiar compositions deserving to be heard. On "Crowded Heart", Judy has thoughtfully selected the works of a variety of current composers, including Lorraine Feather, Luciana Souza, Sinne Eeg, Gregory Porter, Fred Hersch, and Larry Goldings.
The group of musicians assembled for this project have joined Judy in the studio for most (or all) of her previous recordings. They include Alan Pasqua (Piano), Larry Koonse (Guitar), Bob Sheppard (Woodwinds), Steve Hass (Drums), Darek Oles (Bass), Stefanie Fife (Cello), and Josh Johnson (Alto Sax). The rapport among these excellent musicians and their ongoing relationship with Judy creates a wonderful ensemble sound. Their sensitivity to her goals & the songs, and the balance in recording puts Judy's voice & the lyrics front & center.
As usual, Judy has chosen songs with great melodies and meaningful lyrics. She is so passionate about music, and it shows throughout all of her work. Her voice is warm & personal with a pure tone and timbre that is her own. Her unique sound, and selection of such thoughtful songs makes her recordings stand out among the many talented jazz vocalists performing today.
In January, 2017, we had the great opportunity to hear & meet Judy as she performed in a club in her home community. Although the audience appeared to include several of her personal friends, she took time to meet with us during her first break and at the end of what for us was a wonderful evening of her music. We were a long way from home, and she made us feel so welcomed. She was very kind, friendly and generous with her time. Judy Wexler is the "real deal", not only as a very talented singer & musician, but also as a wonderful human being.