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Dream Awhile

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Customer Reviews

A Jazz Chanteuse

When it comes to jazz and singers that perform standards, most of the performers that come to mind are men. Well, move over Michael Buble. Move over Harry Connick Jr. There’s a new voice in town and it’s a lady. Audrey Silver has a voice that’s unforgettable. I think its safe to say that she’ll give the likes of Diana Krall and Jane Monheit a run for their money.

Dream Awhile is a strong sophomore effort for a singer who we can only hope is going to give us many more albums in the coming years. Her debut album Here In My Heart appeared in 2004 and fans have been waiting for new material ever since. One thing is for sure: Dream Awhile was worth the wait.

On Dream Awhile, Audrey tackles eleven songs from the American Songbook and she does it with class. The songs she picked aren’t the same tried and true tracks but more eclectic picks that others may have overlooked.

The album opens with Irving Berlin’s “The Song Has Ended”. The scat at the end of the song gives it a memorable twist. “In The Wee Small Hours” is a heartbreaking song of unrequited love and Audrey sings it with such longing. You automatically sympathize with the woman she’s singing about. That’s one of the things that make Audrey’s singing so special. Her voice is deep and rich, and she has a way of really emoting that makes the songs more intimate almost as though she were singing each one for you.

The songs that stand out the most are tracks like “Too Marvelous For Words” and “So Many Stars”. On the “Stars”, Silver’s vocal style sounds very much like her contemporary Krall, but where the two may have similar sounding voices at times, Silver has a style all her own. My personal favorite is the album closer, “I Could Write A Book”, a very upbeat number about falling in love with a friend. There is only one other song on Dream Awhile that’s upbeat, “Exactly Like You”. These two tracks are toe tappers, and the kind that make you want to grab someone and dance they way your mother or grandmother used to dance.

Audrey’s voice is a treasure. It doesn’t matter whether the songs she’s singing are about falling in love or out of it. Audrey could sing in the New York City phone book and it would sound beautiful. That statement may be cliché, but that doesn’t stop it from being true.

Another reason Audrey’s Dream Awhile is a stellar recording has to do with her choice of musicians. Her current band is made up of many stellar musicians: pianist Jon Raney, bassist Tom Hubbard, guitarist Ed MacEachen, and drummer Ronnie Zito. These players, along with Silver and her voice of gold create an album that jazz fans and casual listeners won’t want to miss.

After listening to Dream Awhile several times, I find myself wondering, if Audrey is this wonderful now, what will her album’s will be like a few years down the line. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Review by Andrea Guy

Audrey Silver "Dream Awhile"

Audrey Silver does not fail to delight with Dream Awhile. An already established jazz vocalist in the New York club scene, Silver continues to hone her craft with a more mature, finely polished follow-up to last year’s fantastic Here In My Arms. Once again thronged by an outstanding ensemble of musicians, Silver’s talents are exquisitely showcased as she excels in her vocal delivery, song selections, arrangements and production.

Silver has a fabulous knack for engaging the listener with her singing, as is evident in her arrangement of the Hart & Rodgers tune “Falling in Love with Love.” Though the song opens starkly with the bass and vocals, Silver maintains such confident control of the melody that one can almost see her head bobbing and hips swaying as the tempo hastens with the entrance of the piano and drums. Her remarkable ability to sing independently of the other instruments is phenomenal and sounds completely natural as she scats around the piano. The larger degree of scatting on Dream Awhile may evoke a contemporary comparison to a more tender and engaging Jane Monheit.

Evidently Silver is thoroughly enjoying herself on this album and one can almost “hear” her smiling as she sings, yet there is a retained air of sophistication. There are no sharp edges in Silver’s music, but rather a warm easiness that invites the listener in and stay awhile.
The principle arranger for Dream Awhile is pianist Joe Barbato, who gives the keys a bell-like tone as he expertly adds inflections throughout the album, never robbing Silver of the limelight but rather gently elevating her. The two open the well-known ballad “That’s All” with Silver beautifully singing the soaring melody as Barbato does little to accompany her, but rather adds excellent texture with his ivory nuances. Silver skillfully carries through to the end of her phrases and seamlessly changes vowel sounds. After bassist Joe Fitzgerald delivers the bridge solo Silver enters again with conviction through to the coda as she slightly strays from the melody but finishes with flourish with her fantastic fellow musicians.

Barbato’s arrangement of “Too Marvelous for Words” is not as grand. It is still extremely well-executed but the juxtaposition of the piano and vocals in closely related keys in a minor mode sounds strange with the uplifting lyrics, “You’re too marvelous for words like glorious and glamorous and amorous.” Regardless, all of the standards on Dream Awhile are given new life with new interpretations, which is one of the many awesome attributes Silver and her ensemble bring to the jazz realm. Silver shares arranging credits on “Day Dream” and with the addition of guitarist Chris Bergson in a rubato tempo makes this piece a highlight of the album. Just like in Debussy’s La Mer, there is a rich overlaying of the instruments (including voice) as they gently swirl around each other playing unique musical thoughts, yet all contributing to a pleasurable aural sensation.

It is a wonderful privilege to be able to follow an artist as she travels along her musical journey. Thankfully a musician as fine as Silver seems to know where she wants to go and continues to get better with each passing year without fail. Dream Awhile is another gemstone and a truly remarkable effort.

Review by Kelly O’Neil

Moves the heart!

More songs to move the heart when it needs a little help

Dream Awhile, Audrey Silver
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Dec 15, 2009

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