Judi Silvano was still half a decade away from signing with Blue Note when she recorded the excellent but little-known Dancing Voices. Although married to sax heavyweight Joe Lovano, the risk-taking singer was pretty obscure at the time. Those who were lucky enough to hear the CD saw how much Silvano had going for her — an enviable range, serious talent as both a scat singer and interpreter of lyrics, and an impressive ability to embrace pretty ballads one minute and dissonant avant-garde experimentation the next. While the Philadelphia native is quite accessible on her infectious “Ecstasy” and appealing interpretations of Andre Previn’s “Come Live With Me” and Max Roach’s “Living Room,” things become more abstract on Charlie Haden’s “Silent Longing,” the angular “Isadora” and the eerie “Trio Freeyo.” Lovano (tenor and soprano sax) gets in some fine solos, as does pianist Salvatore Bonafede. Those who discovered Silvano’s talents with 1996’s Vocalise would do well to acquire the equally strong Dancing Voices if they can find a copy.
– Alex Henderson