Desert Island Jazz
Judi Silvano (2012)

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Philadelphia-born Judi Silvano is internationally known as a vocalist. But it's little known that she's also a dancer—her degree from Temple University is in both Music and Dance—and a painter: in fact, it's one of her water colors that graces the cover of her most recent recording, "Indigo Moods".

Judi made her way to New York City in the mid-70s. At first it was only dancing, but jazz was not far behind. She was drawn to the downtown music scene, listening to the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra at the Village Vanguard on Monday evenings, for example, until, as she puts it, she could "sing along with the trumpet parts". It was during this era that she met saxophonist Joe Lovano, her collaboration with whom continues to this day.

Judi is a gifted educator, and also an award-winning composer and lyricist. Notwithstanding her abilities as a lyricist, she's one of the few, the very few, who can perform wordless vocals—quite another thing altogether than scatting.

The count of recordings under Judi's own name runs to double digits: to select a few, there's "Riding a Zephyr", duets with Mal Waldron (long an accompanist to Billie Holiday) of songs they wrote, there's "Women's Work", songs by American woman composers; and there's that recent "Indigo Moods", which has a perhaps unique instrumentation, piano and trumpet. She's also appeared on recordings of many others, including Jim Pepper, Kenny Werner, and, of course, Joe Lovano.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Ella Fitzgerald The Cole Porter Songbook, Vol. 2 I Concentrate on You Verve
# 2 Bill Evans From Left to Right The Dolphin (Before) Verve
# 3 Lambert, Hendricks and Ross Sing a Song of Basie Everyday Impulse
# 4 Herbie Hancock My Point of View King Cobra Blue Note
# 5 Abbey Lincoln Straight Ahead Straight Ahead Candid
# 6 Thelonious Monk Solo Monk Dinah Columbia
# 7 The Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra To You: A Tribute to Mel Lewis To You Music Masters
# 8 Old and New Dreams Playing Mopti ECM
# 9 Joe Lovano Universal Language Luna Park Blue Note
Book Vivian Russell, "Monet's Garden: Through the Seasons at Giverny"
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