L.A. Jazz Scene Review, December 2007
LA JAZZ SCENE, DECEMBER 2007
No matter how many times one sees and hears Judy Chamberlain, it is difficult not to be impressed by her seemingly endless repertoire, her ability to read an audience — in the moment and with those perfect tempos of hers — and her skill at keeping the music jumping and the momentum flowing. At Spazio last month, backed by a rhythm section that included longtime collaborator Ben May on bass and Mark Stevens on drums, Chamberlain’s unique brand of spontaneous interaction with both band and audience was in its usual fine form, while her range, flexibility and vocal control displayed what has put her at the top level of jazz singers today. From a sensitive reading of Red Mitchell’s alternate lyric on “All The Things You Are” to a totally improvised Gershwin medley that included an “instrumental” duet with bassist May on “Rhapsody in Blue,” Ms. Chamberlain’s close interplay with her musicians was, as always, exciting to watch. Chamberlain, who was featured in Playboy Jazz Festivals 2007, will perform at Spazio with her band on New Year’s Eve.
— Scott Yanow