It's About Time
Tuesday, August 09, 2005 Bobbi Wilsyn - It's About Time reviewed by Marshall Vente It really is about time to hear vocalist Bobbi Wilsyn on CD! She has been around for many years, captivating Chicago listeners in the clubs, teaching at Columbia and performing with Bill Russo. This is a very eclectic set-a real vocalist's set that features many facets of Bobbi. She composes well, scats, multi-tracks her voice and best of all, always finds the essence of a song and sells it to us. The program combines originals with jazz standards and a little R&B pop. The CD starts with saxophonist Pat Mallinger sounding a little like Charles Lloyd on Wilsyn's 'It's About Time,' moves to a swinging 'Tuesday Afternoon,' the pop side with Wilsyn's 'Spend Some time With You' and moves to the Brazilian standard (composed by Italian Bruno Martino) 'Estate.' Her performance of Johnny Mandel's 'A Time For Love' is gorgeous and the hard swinging 'I Didn't Know What Time It Was' is one of the best ever. In addition to saxophonist Mallinger, Wilsyn is surround with some of Chicago's finest musicians including pianist Miguel de la Cerna, bassist Jim Cox, drummer Frank Parker, and guitarists Curtis Robinson and Frank Dawson. They are all masters and shine through each arrangement. Due to this recording Bobbi Wilsyn is getting more nationwide airplay. Look for this one in the stores and add it to your collection, it will make you feel good. Reviewed by: Dave Nathan Bobbi Wilsyn has been working with Bill Russo's Chicago Jazz Ensemble for the last 10 years. She also teaches voice at Columbia College of Chicago. She now has a CD under her own name with a title that is right on mark. That it took so long to happen substantiates the view that most record company executives have their head in the sand when it comes to recording new artists. Working with a play list of standards, originals and contemporary material, Wilsyn addresses each of them with a voice endowed with perfect pitch, excellent diction and wide range. Just as important, she invests just the right dose of emotional involvement, never too much to make the delivery maudlin, never too little so as to give an impression of being cold and blase. Among the fine tracks is an outstanding rendition of "I Didn't Know What Time It Was". What makes this cut especially compelling is not only Wilsyn's jazzy way with the tune, but the work of the musicians she has brought into the studio with her. This track features good sax work by Pat Mallinger and by the rhythm section led by the piano of Miguel de la Cerna. On a more romantic note, Wilsyn offers one of the finer interpretations of "Estate (Summer)" on record, with Mallinger's soulful sax working underneath. On "Here's That Rainy Day" Frank Dawson's guitar is the consummate compliment to Wilsyn's heartfelt tendering of this standard making it a track worth the price of admission by itself. Wilsyn's students need to heed what she is teaching because this album vividly demonstrates that when it comes to vocal interpretation and delivery, she knows what she's talking about. Recommended. Track listing: It's About Time; Tuesday Afternoon; A Time for Love; Saturday; Here's That Rainy Day; Spend Some Time with You; Summer in the City; Estate (Summer); I Didn't Know What Time It Was; 'Tis Autumn; Take Your Time Personnel: Bobbi Wilsyn - Vocal; Miguel de la Cerna - Piano/Keyboards/Backup Vocals; Jim Cox - Bass; Frank Parker - Drums; Pat Mallinger - Tenor Sax; Curtis Robinson, Frank Dawson - Guitar; Kim Frost, Vikki Stokes - Backup Vocals.