Judy Wexler: Under A Painted Sky is an impressive record. It’s packed with accomplished musicians, interesting repertoire, and a woman who leads the band rather than just floating above it. The latter is hard to explain, especially to non-musicians, but there is a difference between singing and performing. Almost any fool can sing a tune, but to perform means putting one’s stamp on some material. Listen to any of the greats singing stock material in surprising and delightful ways. Check out Ella Fitzgerald’s version of “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” or Sonny Rollins performing “Blue Room” and compare to the source. Wexler is channeling jazz greats and performing repertoire, but she appears driven to leave her stamp on what she touches.
– Game Vortex