Street Date: July 13, 2018
Produced by Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and composer Joe Lovano, Lessons Learned features the members of Silvano’s Zephyr Band with an unusual lineup for a jazz singer: two electric guitars. These are wielded by Kenny Wessel and Bruce Arnold who together provide orchestral settings for the songs. The band is rounded out with Adam Kolker on bass clarinet, soprano and tenor sax, Ratzo B. Harris on bass, Bob Meyer on drums and Todd Isler on percussion. Joe Lovano lends his signature sound on tenor sax to two tracks. Lessons Learned began as a mature musical compilation of personal observations on life and love, but has since developed into a statement that aims to evoke a feeling of universal understanding and respect for others amongst its listeners.
“This is one of the most inspired and fun recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of; it’s full of beautiful, joyous music!”
Parallel to Lovano’s adventurous arrangements, Judi’s writing varies from tender and spiritual to raucous and whimsical. On Lessons Learned, the vocalist - who is also credited for the painting that graces the album cover - is not afraid to bare her heart and sing of intimacy and she tackles the realities of aging with hilarious candor. There comes a point in anyone’s life that is a place of reflection; a review of a lifetime’s worth of choices and decisions. For Silvano, this point in her life marked the creation of Lessons Learned. This 10 track opus of original songs is a collection of stories from the singer’s life that have accumulated and resulted in lessons she has personally learned. By reflecting upon her own individual experiences, Silvano has been observing the consciousness of society as a whole and hopes her perspective will encourage empathy in others towards their communities.
The album opens with “Round and Round”, which is Judi’s statement of appreciation and wonder at her own life. The song’s canonic structure parallels the cycles of life. While “You Will Know” speaks to the interpersonal connections that can have an impact on how we feel about ourselves with encouragement to remember we are not alone, “Dark Things” is about self-doubt, and how even the most confident people periodically question and re-evaluate their paths. “Acknowledging our vulnerability is key to being able to adapt and grow,” says Judi. “Dust” finds Judi in shamanic mode, singing about the earth, our dependence on it for food and how rhythmic feels connect us all over the globe. Some other stand-out tracks from the album include “Hand and Heart” - a beautiful ballad about a very particular relationship - and “After Love” which, simply put, is a classic love song. The album closes with “The Music’s in My Body”, which demonstrates that Judi’s sense of rhythm and space from her years as a dancer, are always a part of her songs.
“Judi Silvano is an amazing vocalist and improviser who has been a mainstay on the New York Jazz scene for decades! Her communication with guitarists Bruce Arnold and Kenny Wessel on “Lessons Learned” is telepathic and the music they create is fresh and inspiring!”
-Vic Juris, Guitarist and Educator
MORE ABOUT JUDI SILVANO
York City from Philadelphia with a degree in music and dance from Temple University. Since then the roster of musicians with whom she has collaborated includes Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell, George Garzone, Mike Formanek, Gerry Hemingway, Michael Abene, Rufus Reid, Ingrid Jensen, Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Paul Motian, Manny Albam, Gunther Schuller and Wynton Marsalis. She’s performed at a multitude of festivals and concert houses around the globe including the Montreal, Paris, London, Verona, Perugia, Istanbul, Langnau Switzerland and North Sea Jazz Festivals as well as numerous clubs and concert halls in NYC. Silvano has been writing music and poetry her whole life alongside putting her visions on canvas - one of her paintings is the album cover of Lessons Learned and she has a series of paintings of Jazz Musicians in addition to other subjects.
More information at www.judisilvano.com.
ALL JAZZ RADIO (SOUTH AFRICA)
"...it has now become a permanent fixture on my iPhone playlist." Read the full review here.
"One subtle high point is a ballad titled “Hand and Heart,” which would seem to be a nod to her spouse, saxophonist Joe Lovano, who produced the album." Read the full track feature and listen to "Hand and Heart" here.
"Lyrically loaded with lessons all should really be thinking about, this is a Zen jazz set that's sure to resonate with the current crop of seekers that are trying to take pause and figure the rest of it all out." Read the full review here.
NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
"She is as skillful a writer as she is a singer and Lessons Learned is a fine product of both." Read the full review here.
C. MICHAEL BAILEY
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"The music to which Silvano applies words is forward-thinking and progressive, stylistically well beyond even post-bop." Read the full review here.
"Her voice has an honest and very authentic sound, not spoiled by academic rigidness in spite of many complex passages in her very expressive music." Read the full German review here.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"This record is full of energy and joy. Judi Silvano presents her life lessons as stimulating, happy music and her musical partners bring flexibility and imagination to her songs' eclectic settings." Read the full review here.
"The most remarkable takeaway from Silvano and co.’s exceptional 110-minute show was its joyous celebration of the art of making music without conceit." Read the full show review here.
LA JAZZ SCENE
"...all ten selections should be heard several times for there is a lot occurring that is worth discovering during this consistently intriguing set. The musicians sound inspired and constantly play off of each other, taking the music in surprising directions. In addition, Judi Silvano sounds very much in prime form while always displaying an appealing tone no matter how adventurous the music becomes. Lessons Learned is easily recommended and one of Judi Silvano’s finest recordings to date."