Jazz Notes from Judy Roberts
Can a singer who has wowed Cubs fans for years with his classic rendition of the National Anthem be equally at home in an intimate jazz piano/vocal duo? As both fan and accompanist, I can tell you that the answer is yes!
I discovered this one evening several years ago when Wayne dropped by a Chicago club where I was working, and I invited him to sit in. I was treated to a shockingly beautiful rendition of "You Are Too Beautiful," delivered as though Wayne was channeling the ghost of Johnny Hartman. I had an immediate reaction of musical "oneness" with him---the kind of camaraderie between singer and pianist that is a rare and special thing.
After many more guest spots over the next few years, along with a blossoming friendship, it became obvious that we needed to take our special relationship into the studio.
This recording introduces multiple musical personalities of Wayne that very few people have ever heard--- soft, sexy, jazzy, tender, playful. Ballads sung with passion and heart, swing tunes and bossa novas that feature scatting and be-bop-esque improv. And another surprise: jazz whistling! Throughout the session, Wayne and I enjoyed the kind of uninhibited musical interaction that inspires freedom and creativity. Wayne's incredible sound and vocal chops, his thoughtful choice of tunes, and his delightful sense of humor have made my piano and me very happy!
– Judy Roberts