This music is a soothing and flowing album of women’s voices with a new age and chamber music feeling. Silvano’s adept direction of the A Capella vocals along with Kyoko Kitamura and Marlena Primavera and arrangements that sometimes incorporate flutes create a flowing environment. Take a moment and connect with your breath. Or just relax through your day with the lush and sonorous sound of voices around you!
Release Date: 2005
“Voices Together” Vocal Ensemble:
Judi Silvano – Director, Arranger, Voice & Flute
Kyoko Kitamura – Voice
Marlena Primavera – Voice
This is music for “healing, meditation and massage”. The musical equivalent of candles, soft and scented. Ambient sound meant to soothe, not arouse. It sounds like the elven music of the Lord of the Rings movies. It is also impeccably done.
On “Celestial Voices” Silvano blends her voice with those of Kyoko Kitamura and Marlena Primavera into spacious choral settings that evoke ancient traditions of chant that span from medieval convents to Tibetan monasteries, very otherworldly world music.
Silvano overlaps slowly evolving melodic lines, letting the upper partials ring and rub together.
Sometimes the endings surprise — I expected many of the songs to float for eternity. The two tracks “Ursa Minor” and “Dobranotz” feature prominent flute, Silvano playing those full-toned passages.
If you plan to follow a more mellow path, this “vocal soundscape” CD would prove a very useful guide.
-David DuPont, One Final Note
Einstein said that the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It’s unfortunate, then, that he wasn’t afforded the opportunity to hear Sound Garden ~ Celestial Voices. This a-capella female chorale led by composer/ director/ producer Judi Silvano, intertwines crystalline vocals ranging from soaring soprano to deep, earthy tones in a seamless soundscape that transcends the conventional relaxation recording. …a truly glorious disc! Congratulations ladies.
-Sharon Nichols, CHRONOGRAM, February 2006
When the Silvano release Sound Garden ~ Celestial Voices appeared in the review pile, I glanced at the title—covers of the 1990s grunge band Soundgarden, I thought??? Ahhhh… how wrong could I be? This is music for “healing, meditation and massage”.
This is the musical equivalent of candles, soft and scented. Ambient sound meant to soothe, not arouse. It sounds like the elven music of the Lord of the Rings movies. It is also impeccably done. Given the sheer textures, any off-note would clang as bad as a gruff voice demanding a beer.
On Celestial Voices Silvano blends her voice with those of Kyoko Kitamura and Marlena Primavera into spacious choral settings that evoke ancient traditions of chant that span from medieval convents to Tibetan monasteries, very otherworldly world music.
Silvano overlaps slowly evolving melodic lines, letting the upper partials ring and rub together. At times, as on the opener, this results in pungent dissonances. Though superficially the music may seem emotionally compressed, it sounds haunted, expressing as much melancholy as joy, yet always resigned to breathe in the moment. Indeed the breathing of the singers is audible at some spots adding to the airiness of the music.
The surprises are subtle. On “Bass Space”, the rhythm grows more pronounced with groups of three notes cushioned between declamations of a short and long note. “Meditations” suddenly resolves into a simple major triad. Sometimes the endings surprise—I expected many of the songs to float for eternity.
The two tracks “Ursa Minor” and “Dobranotz” feature prominent flute, Silvano playing those full-toned passages. “Dobranotz” alone among the tracks has a melodic substance that could transcend its ethereal surroundings.
If you should decide to travel a more mellow path, this “vocal soundscape” CD would prove a useful guide.
– David Dupont, One Final Note , 23 January 2006
Sound Garden ~ Celestial Voices transports you to many places and leaves one with a feeling of having visited sacred ground. The amazing vocals allow you time to linger there in a land of mountains, rivers, chapels and other special spaces.
– Pipper Armel, Healer, Accupuncturist
I listen to Judi Silvano’s Sound Garden ~ Celestial Voices everyday because it helps me stay relaxed while I am cooking for my restaurant.
– Sonia El Nawal, Executive Chef
This album features Septet Arrangements by Michael Abene with an All-Star “little big band” featuring Dick Oatts, Ingrid Jensen, Dan Silverman, Rufus Reid, Newman Taylor-Baker and Abene conducting from the piano. This project was an 80th Birthday Gift from Judi of her mother’s favorite songs from the Great American Songbook and Miriam enjoyed the band several times at Birdland and the Jazz Standard.
Label: Zoho Music
Release Date: 2004
Judi Silvano – voice Michael Abene – piano, arranger, conductor Rufus Reid – bass Newman Taylor-Baker – drums Dick Oatts – soprano sax, alto sax Ingrid Jensen – trumpet, flugelhorn Roger Rosenberg – bass clarinet, baritone sax Akua Dixon – cello Dan Silverman – trombone Mayra Casales – percussion Jamie Baum – alto flute Nita Goodgal – background vocals on #11
“Silvano has teamed up with pianist/ arranger Michael Abene to create brilliant, graceful and thoughtful interpretations of classic standards from the Great American Songbook.”
-Al Julian, The Woody Herman Society
“Vocalist Judi Silvano captures the essence of Jazz vocalizing on a session where intimate, small group arrangements add splendor to this all-standards set. Silvano’s deep emotion and love for the music is a sheer delight and she handles these well-known tunes with both grace and zeal.”
-Jay Collins, Cadence Magazine
“If you have yet to hear this commanding singer, Judi Silvano’s “Let Yourself Go” might well be a very good place to start. An all-Standards set, this new CD is very well worth your attention.”
-Bruce Crowther, Jazz Journal International
“Let Yourself Go is a disc of well orchestrated standards. You realize this from the first track. There is superb professionalism here. The repertoire reunites the beautiful themes of Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin.”
-Jacques Aboucaya, JAZZMAN, France
“Judi Silvano’s “Let Yourself Go” is a model vocal jazz CD for all vocal jazz studies! This is one of my TOP 5 Vocal CD’s of 2004!”
– Herb Wong, Jazz Educators Journal
A delightful encounter between the seasoned pianist and composer who had been Billie Holiday’s last accompanist and a young, gifted vocal musician, this landmark collaboration reveals the sympatico of these two artists despite decades between them. Notable are Silvano’s original songs, her lyrics set to some of Waldron’s older compositions and their relaxed collaborative arrangements, including his classic “Soul Eyes”.
Label: Soul Note/Black Saint
Release Date: 2002
Judi Silvano – voice
Mal Waldron – piano
Risk isn’t a quality often associated with jazz singers, but a duet album with a pianist-composer as idiosyncratic as the late Mal Waldron could have been a kitsch fest. Yet Judi Silvano finds an alluring, noirish beauty in the somber pace and spare melodicism of Waldron’s ballads. The well-known “Soul Eyes” is here, but more enticing are vintage rarities like “All Night Through,” “A Time For Duke,” “Eyes on You” and “Finding My Love” — with lyrics by either Waldron or Silvano — which Silvano delivers with a tasteful spontaneity that unlocks the possibilities of the composer’s enigmatic language. Silvano’s honest command of pitch and jazz rhythm are key; her wordless unison with Waldron on the waltz “You” is the kind of thing that almost never works. Kudos.
– Mark Stryker, Free Press music critic
These duets were recorded in 2000 in Waldron’s adopted hometown of Brussels, and released just before the pianist’s death late last year. In a career distinguished among other things by his work as an accompanist to singers from Billie Holiday to Jeanne Lee, this is apparently his final such gig on record.
Unexpectedly free of standards, the set list is drawn by Silvano from the tunes Waldron wrote during his late-1950s stint at Prestige as house pianist, composer and arranger. Some have words by Waldron, while Silvano has written fresh lyrics for others and also contributed two (wordless) originals of her own. The respectful gesture towards a little-explored body of compositions is welcome and Silvano turns in the album’s best lyrics on “Finding My Love/Empty Street”, a pop song-blues in the vein of “Willow Weep for Me” or “Stormy Weather”.
Silvano’s not an obvious match for Waldron – neither earthy nor ethereal, her vocals have a basic plainspoken quality. Her most effective performance is the title track, a barebones improvisation of the kind Waldron thrives on, as he creeps assiduously up and down the piano over a pedal point. Here her vocals are unusually simple and unaffected. The good news is that Waldron is in excellent form throughout and the music is suffused with tremendous warmth and tenderness, despite its gloomy minor-key sensibility.
– ND, Paris Transatlantic Magazine, Nov. 2003
– Top 10 CD’s of 2003: Coda Magazine (Canada)
– Top Vocal Albums of 2002 of the Jazz Education Journal’s Herb Wong “Blue Chip Awards”
The title says it all! This is one of the most swinging bands I’ve ever had the privilege to assemble with Vic Juris, Larry Goldings, Essiet Okon Essiet and Victor Lewis plus guest Joe Lovano! I chose some classic music of Billy Strayhorn, Thad Jones/Abbey Lincoln, Bob Dorough/Fran Landesman, Emil Boyd/Hale Smith, Jane Hall and Myrow/DeLange to record with this amazing band and was excited to record some of my own original songs and lyrics, too.
Release Date: 2000
Judi Silvano – vocals
Larry Goldings – organ
Vic Juris – guitar
Essiet Essiet – bass
Victor Lewis – drums
with special guest: Joe Lovano – tenor sax
SONGS I WROTE OR WISH I DID (JSL Records) was recorded in 1999, with the great Victor Lewis on drums, Larry Goldings on organ, Vic Juris on guitar, Essiet Okon Essiet on bass, and Special Guest Joe Lovano on two tunes.
Silvano was voted in a Top Ten Vocalist in Down Beat’s Readers Poll in 2000 & again 2001 and she continues her interest in fresh material with this disc which received critical acclaim for the great ensemble playing.
Silvano chose intriguing songs by Bob Dorough/Fran Landesman, Billy Strayhorn, Thad Jones/Abbey Lincoln, Emile Boyd/Hale Smith and Myrow/Delange. She also presents a gem of a song by Jane Hall, the little known song-writer who happens to be married to noted guitarist Jim Hall. Add a song by Belgian composer Myriam Alter to which Silvano wrote lyrics plus five Silvano originals for a delightful program of songs to the singers’ taste.
“Silvano makes the lyrics believable. She is a talented jazz singer, uncomplicated and bright.”
– MARK CORROTO, ALL ABOUT JAZZ
“Songs I Wrote or Wish I Did”…is a very satisfying vocal jazz offering…SILVANO scats with authority, a real swinger! – FRANK RUBOLINO, CADENCE MAGAZINE
This is an album of original conceptions fusing Judi Silvano’s keen ear for melody and lyric. The choice of songs and lyrics are utterly unique and interesting, too. They bring fresh energy and vitality that she draws from powerful writers like Thad Jones, Abbey Lincoln, Billy Strayhorn, Bob Dorough, Myrow & DeLange, and lesser known composers Jane Hall, Emil Boyd and Myriam Alter. Further demonstrating Judi’s considerable talent is that she composed 6 of the tunes. The prevailing theme of this album is Love with it’s many moods – happy, sad and mysterious.
Silvano’s Blue Note Records release was only her second album as Leader. This album shows her roots and diversity as a contemporary modern jazz vocalist and she is surrounded by a stellar cast. She tackles gems of classical composers Rachmaninoff, Ives and Ravel bringing them into her creative sphere alongside Strayhorn, Monk and Mingus with aplomb.
Label: Blue Note – 52390
Release Date: 1996
Judi Silvano – soprano voice
Joe Lovano – tenor sax, drums
Oscar Noriega – alto sax, bass clarinet
Dave Ballou – trumpet
Vic Juris – guitar
Drew Gress – bass
Bob Meyer – drums
Singer Judi Silvano studied dance and music at Temple University and began collaborating with other East Coast jazz musicians in the late 1970s. With the major influence of Ella Fitzgerald in her early years, Silvano mixes classical, jazz, mainstream and free jazz styles.
In the liner notes to Vocalise, she writes, “beautiful music and good technique go beyond any style.” Silvano’s first release as a leader presents a well-rounded set in many styles, with support from Vic Juris on guitars, Drew Gress on acoustic bass, Bob Meyer on drums, Dave Ballou on trumpet, Oscar Noriega on alto sax & bass clarinet, and Joe Lovano guesting for several numbers on tenor sax, drums, and percussion.
The title track is a composition by Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff presented as a wordless vocal piece, with the electric guitar of Juris supplying a vocal-like texture. “Vocalise II” is an outside approach to the same melody with a different lineup of trumpet and reeds supporting the vocal lines. Ravel’s “Pavane,” Ellington’s “All Too Soon,” Strayhorn’s “Daydream,” Mingus’ “Weird Nightmare” and Monk’s “Looking Back” pay tribute to these legendary composers and present unique approaches to their work.
But it’s the singer’s own compositions that provide the most excitement. Silvano’s “Heuchera Americana” is a modal piece with an infectious repeating melodic theme and many changes in the rhythmic form. With salutes to Monk, Bach, and rock, the arrangement places a trumpet / alto sax duo trading fours behind the unison blend of guitar and vocalist, and offers everyone a chance to stretch. The singer’s “It’s So Amazing” presents Lovano on percussion, with a natural melodic style fitting hand in hand with the music, which is delivered first with lyrics and later with scat-singing.
Over half the tracks use lyrics, and a common bond throughout the set is a careful blending of timbres in pairs, such as guitar / voice, saxophone / voice, trumpet / saxophone, and guitar / trumpet. Vic Juris proves himself a more than able partner throughout the session, and Joe Lovano delivers trademark solos on “All Too Soon,” “Looking Back,” and Silvano’s composition “Bass Space.” Recommended.
– Jim Santella, All About Jazz, May 1, 1997
Judi Silvano’s first recording as Leader was a tour de force. Already showing her inspiration as composer & arranger, she leads textured and varied sound explorations of songs by Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, Charlie Haden, Max Roach/ Abbey Lincoln, Tom Harrell/ Cheryl Pyle and Andre Previn plus her own Originals. Contributing are Kenny Werner and Salvatore Bonafede on piano, Scott Lee on bass, Jeff Hirshfield on drums, Tim Hagans on trumpet, Joe Lovano on sax, plus vocalists Val Hawk, Holly Durniak and Spencer Macleish in Judi’s “Voices of Juniper” arrangements.
Release Date: 1991
Judi Silvano – soprano voice
Joe Lovano – saxophone
Salvatore Bonafede – piano
Kenny Werner – piano
Tim Hagans – trumpet
Scott Lee – bass
Jeff Hirshfield – drums
Val Hawk – voice
Holly Durniak – voice
Spencer MacLeish – voice
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