On her new CD Let Yourself Go, Judi Silvano presents for the first time in her recording career a selection of classic songs from the Great American Songbook in a “small big band” setting, placing her squarely in the great jazz tradition of a Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, or Diana Krall. In eleven new brilliant, highly original arrangements by New York pianist / composer / arranger Michael Abene, Silvano takes her audience on a unique journey, from the sassy, virtuosic uptempo swing of the title track, over the unforgettably haunting “Goodbye”, to the European charm of “I Love Paris”.
Voted three times as a Top 10 vocalist in the Down Beat Reader’s Poll, jazz singer Judi Silvano has earned acclaim as a composer, lyricist, and educator.
Originally from Philadelphia, Judi Silvano moved to New York in 1976 and earned a reputation as a daring improviser, first as a dancer amd later as a jazz vocalist. She collaborated with jazz artists Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, and Bill Frisell, and has sung with Wynton Marsalis, under the direction of Gunther Schuller, with the Joe Lovano "Rush Hour" Ensemble for Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Her original compositions can be heard on her five CDs as a leader on the Blue Note, Soul Note, and JSL Records labels. Silvano has also been featured on Grammy-winner Joe Lovano’s Blue Note CDs, recordings with pianists Kenny Werner and Mal Waldron, and on “Secret Ellington”, a CD produced by Todd Barkan, of newly discovered works by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.
Silvano tours worldwide as a leader and leads groups including her “Standards Quintet” ,her New Music "Cleome Quartet" featuring George Garzone and a Music & Dance Ensemble she formed called "Voices Together" which features three un-accompanied vocalists and one dancer/choreographer.
She also teaches at Rutgers University, Banff International Jazz Workshop, the Lake Placid Institute, and in workshops nationwide.
Michael Abene has been active on the American jazz scene for over forty years as a composer, arranger and piano player. Through his compositions and arrangements for the superstar Liza Minelli, he became a respected mainstay among the elite of American show business. His orchestral arrangements were heard throughout the world, performed in concerts by Liza Minelli, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Charles Aznavour.
He has also written countless arrangements for famous jazz musicians: the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the BBC Big Band, and the UMO Jazz Orchestra in Helsinki. Abene has received many awards for his creative output, including a Grammy Award for his album with the GRP Big Band, "Digital Duke" (GRP, 1987). His long resume includes productions with many stars: Helen Schneider, Patti Austin, George Benson, and Grady Tate, to name a few.
In the fall of 2003, Michael Abene was appointed principal conductor, composer and arranger of the WDR Big Band, Cologne, Germany regarded by many as Europe’s leading jazz big band.
Recorded at Sound on Sound Studios, May 24 & 25, 2003, in New York City. Recorded and mixed by Cynthia Daniels for Monk Music. Engineer’s assistants : Sam Branch & Rene Antelmann. Produced by Judi Silvano & Michael Abene. Executive producer : Joachim Becker