Crowded Heart

 
with

Judy Wexler, vocals
Alan Pasqua, piano, melodica, whistling
Larry Koonse, guitar
Josh Johnson, alto sax
Bob Sheppard, alto flute
Darek Oles, bass
Steve Hass, drums
Aaron Serfaty, percussion
Stefanie Fife, cello

Produced by Alan Pasqua and Judy Wexler
Arranged by Alan Pasqua
Associate Producer Barbara Brighton

Her voice is lovely and pure, but there’s something tactile going on with the way she burrows deep to discover what emotions are really being considered in the lyrics. That alone elevates her from a mere singer with a beautiful voice to someone who really wants to create the template for everyone else who comes afterward and sings these classics of the future, classics that were first–and hopefully–made famous by her.

–Marc Phillips, The Part-Time Audiophile

You’re crowding my heart…with lovely, strong, breath-tightening, intoxicating emotions as I listen to the disc… boy, is this good. And needed: you’ve done an extra service by putting together such a rich repertoire of modern music that will be brand-new to so many folks. So thanks for that as well.

– Neil Tesser, Grammy Award & Recipient of Jazz Journalists Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Jazz Journalism

Judy Wexler has carved out a jewel-like niche as a gracefully swinging singer who brings penetrating insight to American Songbook-adjacent material often overlooked by her colleagues…Wexler sounds utterly relaxed while delivering some intricately constructed material. While clearly inspired by less-is-more vocalists like Shirley Horn and Irene Kral, she doesn’t sound anything like either of them. With space for countless joys and woes, Wexler’s heart (and book) can continue to contain multitudes.

~Andrew Gilbert, JazzTimes Magazine

A sumptuous redefinition of jazz standards… One of the fascinating aspects of “Crowded Heart” is how Wexler manages to make the songs on the recording sound both new and familiar.

-Dodie Miller-Gould, Lemonwire

Vivacious vocalist Judy Wexler shines a spotlight on outstanding contemporary songwriters in this luminous new jazz collection.  Some of Southern California’s top musicians play on this marvelous album, but it’s Wexler’s vibrant vocals, her heartfelt interpretations of these great songs, that make this record so exceptional. She exhibits a rare combination of intelligence, sensitivity and technique.”

–Pop Culture Classics

Crowded Heart” shows Judy Wexler at her finest.  Never one to overwhelm her songs with vocal trickery, Ms. Wexler caresses melodies, reaches for the emotional heart of each song, and, with the aid of Alan Pasqua, gives listeners an experience that resonates beyond the recording, settling in one’s own crowded heart.

– Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

Wexler and Pasqua have done today’s jazz listeners a great service by artfully opening doors to material with which you may not have been familiar – or haven’t spent enough time savoring.”

– Ken Franckling, Jazz Notes

An inordinately rewarding album…

– Andrew Gilbert, San Francisco Classical Voice

She is balletic light on her vocal feet, dead-on with her pitch, and lyrically smooth. She probes emotional depth and returns gems without melodrama. While hearts may indeed be crowded, this superb and original effort from a very talented and insightful artist and her cadre has certainly found its way into ours.

–  Nick Mondello, All About Jazz

I love albums that have a sustained vibe, and yours hangs together beautifully as a complete creation. You have made an excellent case for the survival of interesting jazz songwriting, and you’ve let the songs shine in ways that, without a doubt, have made their composers very happy.

–  James Gavin, author of Is That All There Is: The Strange Life of Peggy Lee

Indie jazz sensation, versatile and sensual vocalist Judy Wexler weaves magic, charm and emotionally resonant grace through an array of exquisitely arranged contemporary songs she dubs “New Jazz Standards.”

–Jonathan Widran, Music Connection Magazine

An album that deserves its popularity… Wexler has the perfect voice for the material — rarely heard songs from recent years but worthy of a place in the Great American Song Book Vol. 2

-Lance Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here

Judy Wexler has a terrific voice and she’s done something fairly groundbreaking on her new album: She has selected 10 terrific little-known ballads by contemporary artists, and she clearly was governed by love…Judy’s passion for these songs is evident. She combines an emotional seriousness with a breezy feel and tremendous breath control. These songs are not easy to sing. And with Pasqua’s arrangements and exquisite instrumental backing, the album pays homage to those who are writing smart jazz songs today… Judy’s song choices are especially commendable. Many are melodically complex, but Judy aces them, taking her voice wherever it has to go to satisfy the music and win you over… Brava, Judy!

– Marc Myers, JazzWax (#1 jazz blog in America)

The album is fantastic! It’s a connoisseur’s selection of modern songs, sung feelingly, with first-rate arrangements and wonderful musicianship throughout.”

– Allen Morrison, contributor to DownBeat and JazzTimes

Judy Wexler displays excellent taste in not only song selection, but in the delivery of material beyond the standards… A voice as clear as a windswept night.

– George Harris, JazzWeekly

What a joy to listen to this album, both for the exquisite music-making of Judy Wexler and Alan Pasqua, but also for their astuteness in finding and featuring outstanding songs by current-day jazz composers. Highly recommended!

– Ted Gioia, author of The History of Jazz and The Jazz Standards

An able and always engaging demonstration of contemporary jazz singing at its best.”

–Bruce Crowther, The Jazz Journal

Wexler shows a fondness for individualism and demonstrates a keen ear for strong material. She takes the road less traveled by focusing on the work of jazz composers thriving in the present. In doing so she magnifies the importance of these artists, highlights material worthy of greater attention, and elevates her own standing as a gifted stylist and interpreter.

– Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz