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. . . the kind of fresh individuality that makes you want to hear more. more
Jim Santella, LA Jazz Scene
As a songwriter, Ms. Wolper is easily superior to the ever expanding population in the singer/songwriter category... more
I can’t begin to count the number of "girl singer" discs that arrive here during a typical month. If it’s not in the dozens, it seems so. . . Andrea Wolper’s standout set is a disc everyone should hear. She’s got a warm and versatile voice . . . she’s a terrific arranger, taking new paths rather than expected ones. . . and she’s a composer as well. . . Moreover, she’s a talented program builder, picking good but not overexposed tunes. . . Her band is tight, consisting of musicians who can be part of the whole or set out in a blaze of glory on a solo riff. The sound that conveys all of this talent is warm and focused, and it presents a stage that has appealing depth. . . This one’s a winner; don’t let it pass you by. more
Rad Bennett, GoodSound.com
Refusing, in utterly refreshing ways, to follow each song's furrowed emotional path, she instead opens them up for wider examination, demonstrating that for each yin there is a yang. . . . the album's finest evocation of dichotomous sentiments is Wolper's own "The Girls in Their Dresses," where the arrogance of youthful infallibility crashes against the reality of fear, dissillusonment and underachievement. . . more
Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes
Whatever the song, old or new, there is an irrepressible air of originality throughout this set, which admirably showcases a gifted artist who has much to offer many readers, especially those who delight in contemporary jazz singing that while very much music of today also reflects knowledge of and respect for the best of the past.
Bruce Crowther, Jazz Journal (alternate version)
Andrea Wolper's voice is as clear as any singer on the scene now and that clarity is not only technical, it's emotional/motivational as well. . . Each selection has a life of its own that can exist only through the honesty of Wolper's expression. . . [she] delivers each sound-world with total artistic commitment. . . more
Francis Lo Kee, NYC Jazz Record
Wolper sings a dozen fresh, daring arrangements of jazz and pop classics and a few originals all pulled together to reflect her current life views. Andrea benefits by having a strong band, one she has employed in the studio and on the road for quite some time: pianist Kris Davis, Michael Howell (g), Ken Filiano (b) and soundrhythium percussionist Michael TA Thompson. Wolper is pronounced, center stage projecting strong lyrics on each track making this a worthy adventure for you to investigate. "Something Good" is one of the best and a fitting descriptor of the album.
O's Place Jazz Magazine
Brooklyn, NY-based singer Andrea Wolper has a warm, earthy, slightly-bluesy voice that can not be ignored. Her latest recording, Parallel Lives is the kind of music that you might hear while out somewhere, and find yourself asking, “Who is that?” ...more
The Jazz Page
Wolper covers a number of standards, but I'm not sure she needs to--not that I'm griping, mind you, not at all, but rather because the woman is an intriguing composer completely in her own powers... more
Mark S. Tucker, Folk and Acoustice Music Exchange
You really don't think of Todd Barkan as a go to guy to produce an arty, jazz vocal date but he and Wolper seemed to hit the right groove and light the right sparks right out of the box. . . . Very much an up market kind of set, you can easily picture Wolper holding court at a boite where everyone is sipping sophisticated drinks. Grown up stuff for grown up tastes.
Chris Spector, Midwest Record
Many singers on the jazz scene have been straying from the world of standards and jazz tunes in search of new material to include in their repertoires. Often they look to the worlds of rock, folk and pop, and also create new songs of their own. Many of these efforts only point up the how difficult it is to successfully bring a jazz sensitivity to songs from the pop charts of the last half 40 or 50 years, and how hard it is to write new material that will stand up beside the classics. On "Parallel Lives," vocalist ANDREA WOLPER has found the secret to making what is described above happen.
Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz
This vocalist grows more impressive with each album. Her coolly inviting mix of originals with rarely heard standards are a perfect tonic for a tough world. ["Parallel Lives" received a Notable Mention in this blog's Best of 2011 list.]
Curt's Jazz Cafe
A savvy, expressive singer with impeccable taste in collaborators.
Time Out New York
Andrea Wolper just mesmerizes with her dozen-song program. Listen to her reworking of “Skylark”(Carmichael/Mercer). Her first go around is straightforward. For her return she’s all over the song -- genuinely unique. The standard is like putty in her hands. “Who Will Buy” (Bart) contains a hint of a solid rhythmic beat. It makes this song sound all anew. Her emotional vocal here is uplifting. Listen for her final long held notes making her conclusion spectacular. Why isn’t it sung more often? “Something Good”(Rodgers) from the 1965 film “The Sound Of Music” is given a real workout with Ms. Wolper’s passionate, very original, one of a kind, midway scat. Here too there’s such a great rhythmic beat. Finally there is the oldie from the Buddy Johnson band “Save Your Love For Me” (Johnson). For over six minutes she goes where no one else has gone before. Her take stands out. Andrea is more than a giant singer she’s an actress to reckon with.
Dan Singer, In Tune International
This album smartly illustrates the vastness of talent lying within . . . [she's] more than a competent singer set to standards and jazz traditions. She is an audacious artist, one unafraid of making mistakes in the heart of discovery. . . She flouts genre limitations, singing songs for the love of it and delivering an inventive, thrilling, appealing musical vision. more
Jordan Richardson, Blogcritics
You may not know the tune at first or at all but the sheer artistry combined with a special musical honesty makes you really not care. The tunes range from Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer to Joni Mitchell to three Wolper originals and all done in an incredibly inventive and engaging fashion. . . Wolper transcends the "traditional" jazz vocalist in favor of a more "unplugged" story teller. The way in which Wolper plays what I call "catch and release" with each note combined with a pristine yet warm earthy quality to her voice makes this release such a delight. The cover of the classic "Skylark" and "Something Good" are but two highlights of an incredibly solid and well thought out presentation. "Parallel Lives" is a celebration of musical diversity at its very finest. A vocal master class for where jazz vocalists should be heading today! ... more
Brent Black, Digital Jazz News
Andrea Wolper takes risky, but worthy shots at amping up the entire experience, without taking away from the emotional curiosity and thrill that are intrinsically her landscape. . . She has the captivating energy and chops necessary to keep up the pace, be it low and slow, quick-fire, or all emotive points in between. And then some. more
Carol Banks Weber, Examiner.com
Hearing her mid-song monologue with bass accompaniment, during her own "The Girls In Their Dresses," makes it clear that she's actually an actress choosing to communicate through the medium of jazz, and an utterly original one at that. . . Wolper is no purist, but her music is all delivered with purity and a sense of purpose that speaks volumes about the confidence she has in her artistry. She swings in snazzy fashion on Mitchell's "Be Cool," as she trades solos with guitarist Michael Howell, and reaches back to the singer/songwriter's beginnings with a breathtaking performance of "Song To A Seagull," delivered atop an impressionistic backdrop. ... Parallel Lives is proof that fine singers need to live within the confines of a song in order to fully understand and communicate its intention, and Wolper makes herself at home on nearly every number in this collection. ...more
Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
. . . an intelligent, whimsical and heartfelt album consistent in the acuity of its observations and reveling in not only its musical possibilities, but also the sentiments underlying the songs . . . Wolper’s buoyant spirit and the richness of her voice connect all of the disparate delights of the album into a cohesive whole. more
Bill Donaldson, EJazzNews
The album starts with a haunting cover of "Song to a Seagull," originally appearing on Joni Mitchell's first album, which opens with an an a cappella intro that will send shudders down your spine. Indeed, well placed moments of sparse instrumentation, along with its extraordinarily high quality as a whole, make this album stand out. I also love how Wolper's voice will shift from almost-talking to swinging vocals on a dime. The shift to the next song is quite striking with a swinging tune, "The Girls in their Dresses", which features a mischievous performance by Wolper, and some swinging playing from her accompaniment. The track includes a really cool bridge of Wolper philosophizing, before returning back into song . . . There is no filler here: every song on this album shines. Wolper has produced something really special here. more
Spoonys Music Diary
Enhancing the emotional textures of her confessions, a tight, empathetic quartet advances and retreats with laudable respect for the texts, never over- or underdoing it simply to call attention to themselves individually or collectively at the expense of the lyrics’ messages. Always, they serve the soul of the song, in keeping with Ms. Wolper’s unstated but obvious credo. . . . Collectively Ms. Wolper and her impressive band engage the listener with smarts and heart throughout. In all its varied dimensions, Parallel Lives is a winner. more
David McGee, The Bluegrass Special