Bobbi Wilsyn

It's About Time

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Bobbi Wilsyn often performs with William Russo and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, but here she steps out front with a small group, turning in a classy set of standards and originals. She and co-producer/arranger/pianist Miguel de la Cerna seem to have a thing for '60s classic rock, as disarmingly jazzy renditions of the Moody Blues' "Tuesday Afternoon" and the Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer in the City" find their way into the program. But mostly Wilsyn addresses great songbook items: "A Time for Love" (achingly slow), "Here's That Rainy Day" (a duet with guitarist Frank Dawson), "Estate (Summer)," "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," and "'Tis Autumn." Wilsyn's originals are a mixed bag: "Saturday" is little more than a rhyming exercise, while "Spend Some Time With You" is a pop-jazz departure that doesn't jive with the rest of the program. The opening title track, co-written by Wilsyn and Gloria Morgan, is much more fulfilling, as is the closing "Take Your Time," co-written with Thomas Gunther and performed as a piano/voice duet. Wilsyn has chosen sterling players in de la Cerna, saxophonist Pat Mallinger, bassist Jim Cox, and drummer Frank Parker. Her voice is elegant and flexible, sounding angelic on the ballads but taking on quite a bit of edge when the tempos pick up.

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