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A delightful performer who is equally skilled as a pianist and a jazz singer, Judy Roberts has been a major artist for the past 35 years. Born and raised in Chicago, she first gained attention beyond the Midwest when she recorded three albums for Inner City during 1979-81. She currently performs bop-oriented music in small groups, including often with her husband tenor-saxophonist Greg Fishman. Nights In Brazil, the third of her Inner City projects, features Judy Roberts as an enthusiastic young singer and keyboardist whose music does not fit into any simple category. She is joined by a fine combo that includes guitarist Neal Seroka with some of the selections being influenced by Brazilian fusion a la Flora Purim including Ivan Lins' “Common Ground,” “Ole,” “Nights In Brazil,” and “Carnival In Rio.” There are also some departures including Stevie Wonder's “I Can't Help It,” the soulful swing of “Save That Time,” “Sophisticated Lady” and a straight ahead trio version of “Starlight Haunted Ballroom.” Throughout this program, Judy Roberts consistently shines.
|Instruments||Music and Musicians|
|Accompanist/ Conductor||Neal Seroka - guitar, David Derge - drums, percussion, Michael Fiorino - bass, Tony Carpenter - percussion, Geraldo de Oliveriea - percussion, Brian Torff - bass, Rusty Jones - drums|
Customer Reviews (2)
- Go to Rio!Review by Big Toots
Wisely, Roberts, who produced this when recorded in 1981, avoids the “usually suspected” Brazilian material and covers a range of selections from Stevie Wonder’s “I Can’t Help It” and Duke’s “Sophisticated Lady” to neat originals provided by her terrific bandmates, Neal Seroka’s “Two and a Half” and “Country Samba,” and David Derge’s co-written dream-like title cut.
Roberts has an obvious deep affection for this genre and it shows throughout the upbeat session. Vocally, while not a powerhouse, she covers the faster material with a soaring spirit and a marvelous rhythmic sway. She utilizes a perfectly light timbre when needed (“Carnival in Rio”) and she flits over the faster material with grace (the lyric-less “Country Samba” and the straight-swinging novelty, “Starlight Haunted Ballroom”). Her keyboarding is superb, as well. The supporting musicians here frame Roberts impeccably, moving the material with percussive drive and all the engaging Brazilian under-textures.
While Nights in Brazil has commercial overtones, the music here is tasteful, approachable and a most enjoyable 40 minutes “south” - and you won’t need a National Geographic map, either
(Posted on 5/1/2015)
- Nights in BrazilReview by Simon Sez
Looking towards Brazil, she leads a group featuring Neal Seroka on guitar plus two percussionists. The music includes Brazilian fusion, Ivan Lins’ “Common Ground,” some straight ahead jazz and two features for Don Stiernberg on mandolin. There is lots of variety on this fun set by the great Judy Roberts.
Simon Sez: Judy Roberts, whether singing or playing keyboards, puts on a great show during Nights In Brazil (IC1138), a set with a lot of variety. (Posted on 5/6/2014)