"THE SMALL HOURS"
. . . a superb singer celebrates the release of her gorgeous new CD. . . a highly original performer with a sultry, late-night sound.
Andrew Gilbert, Contra Costa Times
. . . a smart, sophisticated set of smoky classics, bluesy originals, and a handful of offbeat songs all the more welcome for being underexposed. . . Guitarist Ron Affif and bassist Ken Filiano wrap their strings gently around Wolper's rich voice. Victor Lewis and Jamey Haddad take turns on the drum stool, while Frank London's trumpet and Lou Marini's flute add dashes of color.
Time Out New York
There's nothing strange or quirky about Andrea Wolper's warm, beautifully modulated voice--but her arrangements? Those are something else again, from her torchy, dreamy ballad setting of "Dancing on the Ceiling" to her elaborately slow take on Van Morrison's "Crazy Love." The mood throughout the program is slow and sensuous, with only a couple of midtempo interludes to break the spell. Very nice.
Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist
The sound quality is superb for a small independent label offering. Andrea Wolper has a very individual style that separates her from much of the pack treading this often-tried territory, and that bodes well for her future. You can try several of the tracks, including one of the exceptional originals, at her website. Recommended.
Tom Gibbs, Audiophile Audition
"Not Sleeping in Your Arms" is quite striking. It's [a] Wolper original, one that succeeds on the strength of its ambiguously constrained sexuality ("It was lovely not sleeping in your arms"), suggesting, perhaps, a lack of constraint to come. Strong contributions from both Affif and Filiano on the track. "Moanin'" is, perhaps, the program's most drastic revision. Wolper slows it down to a bluesy crawl and exlores its possibilities as an anguished plaint. Filiano bows behind Andrea as "Small Day" opens and offers firm plucked support as the song unfolds. Affif's guitar complements the mix. It's the CD's longest track at over seven minutes and one of its most satisyingly consummated. Andrea Wolper must be credited for her adventuresome and inquiring musical approach, which succeeds often enough to make her a more interesting vocalist than some/many.
Alan Bargebuhr, Cadence
Wolper is a fine singer and promising songwriter, and Affif and Filiano both expressive players.
Edward Kane, JazzReview.com
"The Small Hours" is a beautiful, intimate sharing. . . the band picks up from where the old Blue Note Jazz groups (and Miles with Bill Evans), and Chico and Coltrane left off. . . This band is a world traveler, and . . . "The Small Hours" is such a sweet ticket.
Da'ud X. Mohammed, Oregon Coast News Signal
Andrea is a creative jazz singer with an abundance of character. . . the program includes twelve songs: 3 originals and 9 standards that are effectively transformed with Andrea's indelible signature - pleasingly so!
D. Oscar Groomes, O's Place Jazz Newsletter
. . . she makes the songs her own. . . due to the fact that she gives the songs her own cool feel, the mixing of classics and originals sounds seamless, and you almost can't tell that songs like Rodgers & Hart's "Dancing on the Ceiling' and Wolper's own. . . "Not Sleeping in Your Arms" hail from completely different eras.
Ernest Barteldes, New York Press
. . . a relaxing, yet highly inspired, bluesy interlude (that will stay in your collection for many years to come), this one comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. more
Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation
. . . what a delivery! Wolper sounds as if she's singing just for you . . . she's come up with one of the strongest and most interesting vocal efforts of the year. more
Dan McClenaghan, AllAboutJazz.com
. . . a singer with an uncanny emotional touch for the past 50 years of jazz. She fills torch songs with sensual longing, then makes abstract vocal improvisations feel intimate as meaningful conversation. . . highly recommended for anyone who believes in the timeless essence of cool. more
Chuck Graham, Tucson Citizen
Andrea . . . has made her return to recording something special. . . Her smartness at reinterpreting standards or writing her own music, not to mention her sophisticated coolness, has created a recording unlike any other, and it does deserve attention from jazz listeners. more
Bill Donaldson, JazzImprov
Blending June Christy with Julie London seems the vocal equivalent of adding shaved ice to cocoa. Yet Andrea Wolper, an increasingly popular presence on the New York City club circuit, makes the mixture delightfully palatable. . .
Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes
Thoroughly entertaining and musicianly, this CD should appeal not only to many hardcore jazzers but also to those Friends of Good Songs who like their familiar fare gently spiced. more
Bruce Crowther, Jazz Journal Int'l
. . . a reminder that the voice is indeed the "first instrument." The way Wolper elicits emotion and passion suggests she actually cares about what she's singing about, and is not simply going through the motions. "The Small Hours" is strongly recommended, in large part, because each selection tells a unique story. more
Eddie Becton, All About Jazz
By rights, I should dislike several of her selections . . . yet it is on these very songs that she wins me over. This, to me, borders on magic. The phenomenon is that her soul and vulnerability, bolstered by tremendous chops and an understated delivery that comes only with confidence and mastery of one's instrument, shine through the glossy veneer of such chestnuts as the CD's opener, "Dancing on the Ceiling". . . The effect is to reveal that which was (who knew?) buried deep within what was nothing more than a 'nice pop tune'. The paradox is that there is no gimmickry here. Her take on "Dancing" is straightforward, soul-baring, and perfect. And she does this again and again, throughout the CD. . . more
Chris Sampson, Gravity and Chaos
a tasty mix of freshly considered classics alternating with lesser-known gems . . . Wolper takes care with lyrics and takes time enough to savor them. more
Andrew Velez, AllAboutJazz-NY
Die New Yorker Sängerin Andrea Wolper erkundigt gemeinsam mit ihren Musikern die Zeit zwischen Nacht und Tag - dann also, wenn die ersten Lokalitäten schließen und die Nachtschwärmer, die immer noch nicht genug haben, sich einen letzten Martini oder Whiskey in irgendeiner Bar rechtzeitig vor Sonnenaufgang genehmigen. Dort könnte Wolper dann auch neben dem Piano stehen und mit ihrer interessanten Altstimme ein paar bekannte und unbekannte Jazzsongs ins Mikro hauchen. Auf ihrem zweiten Album wird sie nun aber hauptsächlich begleitet von den ausgezeichneten Musikern Ron Affif (Gitarre) und Ken Filiano (Bass). Hinzukommen bei einigen Titeln noch Drums, Trompete und Flöte, damit es ein wenig abwechslungsreicher wird und wir nicht aus Versehen beim zweiten Glas Whiskey einschlafen. Aber das wird eh nicht passieren, denn langweilig oder seicht ist "The Small Hours" nun gar nicht. Es ist ruhig bis fetzige, hübsch arrangierte, interessant vorgetragene und ausgezeichnet aufgenommene Jazzmusik - nicht nur Jazzfans. 5 stars