Audrey Silver
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Audrey Silver

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1999 | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1999
Band Jazz Cabaret




"[A] "charismatic singer whose lyric poetry is reminiscent of Joni Mitchell’s”"

Although there are a variety of composers whose sensibilities are reflected in the repertoire of Audrey Silver’s second album, including several songs written by the vocalist, herself, the outstanding item remains Bill Evans’ iconic song Very Early, which gives the album its title. Silver revels in the rapturous lyricism of the great pianist almost as if the song was written – by some magical connection across the spirit world – with her voice in mind. Of course the rest of the material on the album is also splendidly sung by the charismatic singer whose lyric poetry is reminiscent of Joni Mitchell’s not the least because of its broken lines, irregular rhyming, complex changes and a certain wry, almost bitter sensibility that Mitchell brought even to her most romantic work. The bleak narrative of “The Cold Wind’s Embrace,” enhanced by Alex Pope Norris’ high and lonesome trumpet makes for some of the most telling moments in the song. Moreover, Silver changes the colors of songs such as “Getting to Know You” from major to minor keys and this heightens her penchant for bringing a certain Miles Davis-like sardonicism to her music.

Against the backdrop of this dramatically different and enigmatic sound world, adorned by Gary Versace’s old-worldly accordion, the gleaming, gem-like resonating of Tom Beckham’s vibes, the sounds and silences of Ron Affif’s willowy guitar and the gentle egging on of the vocalist by pianist Bruce Barth, Silver’s sensuous contralto soars and dips, hinting at great truths always just out of reach. Throughout the performance, Audrey Silver paints the songs descriptive pictures with a palette of moody colors. The singer lives the music through extraordinary vocalastics often explored at slow speeds inviting a degree of indulgent empathy that weighs down the music with just the right amount of zest (when the song calls for it) and weightiness. “Jardin D’Hiver,” a song first made classic by the great French vocalist Henri Salvador and later by Stacey Kent and the Canadian, Emilie-Claire Barlow is paced more skillfully than appears, more vivid, and Silver’s luminous voice quality has ecstasy within its reach as she turns on the tap of profound vocal beauty. By now it becomes patently obvious that we are being confronted by a star of immense brightness.

Mose Allison’s blues-drenched “What’s With You” provides a nice change of pace for Audrey Silver and also highlights the rocking rhythm section that features Paul Beaudry on bass and the legendary Lewis Nash on drums. Silver draws the most sympathetic performance, however, from Alex Pope Norris, a presence, it would seem, that is almost divinely inspired. The trumpeter’s eloquence combined with Silver’s voice makes a case for marking this album as one of the best vocal albums of 2016. This is also an album that is excellently orchestrated and produced, one that has been produced with rapt attention to detail by Steven Santoro, a vocalist, pianist and producer who learned from one of the best in the business – Ahmet Ertegun. But all said and done, it is Audrey Silver that holds sway and her performance begs recognition for an emerging vocalist for whom the sky’s the limit.

Tracks: Galileo; Surry with the Fringe on Top; The Cold Wind’s Embrace; Getting to Know You; Goodbye New York; Until; Lemon Twist; Very Early; What’s with You; Jardin D’Hiver; Lucky to Be Me; When the World Was New.

Personnel: Audrey Silver: vocals; Bruce Barth: piano; Paul Beaudry: bass; Lewis Nash: drums; Alex Pope Norris: trumpet; Gary Versace: accordion; Ron Affif: guitar; Tom Beckham: vibes.
posted by Jeff Becker @ March 30, 2017 - JazzSensibilities

""...her voice is like pure sterling. Her phrasing is exquisite, her clarity and enunciation on par with the great Jo Stafford and her breath control – a talent so often, and so wrongfully, overlooked – rivals Sinatra’s. ""

Discovering a Rich Vein of Silver
A profile of singer Audrey Silver

A couple of weeks ago, while researching a piece on Stevie Holland’s one-woman tribute to Linda Porter, I happened upon an announcement for a CD launch event that was being held at Manhattan’s Triad Theater, the same space where Holland’s show runs every Wednesday night. The party was for a singer I’d never heard of named Audrey Silver.

Nothing intrigues me more than the potential opportunity of discovering a fresh (at least to my ears) jazz voice. So, I did a little more digging, and discovered that Silver has been a staple on the New York club scene for several years, playing in the sort of insider spots where the audience is measured more in terms of quality than quantity.

Silver, who writes her own arrangements and is also a skilled bandleader, released her debut album, Here In My Arms, in 2004. Her sophomore effort, Dream Awhile didn’t surface until five years later, released last December. I downloaded the new album from iTunes, and knew from the opening track that Silver was something special. Indeed, if a name ever fit a performer it is Silver’s, for her voice is like pure sterling. Her phrasing is exquisite, her clarity and enunciation on par with the great Jo Stafford and her breath control – a talent so often, and so wrongfully, overlooked – rivals Sinatra’s.

Listening to Silver, the word “effortless” leaps to mind. Of course, we all know that such seeming effortlessness actually demands tremendous effort and discipline. And there’s more than just assured ease to Silver’s interpretations. The playlist for Dream Awhile includes 11 standards, each of which has been recorded hundreds of times. Yet, in each case, she makes these chestnuts newly interesting. Her interpretations aren’t in any way radical, extreme or even particularly bold. What they are: thoughtful. From the tender ache of “The Song Is Ended” and deeper pain of “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” to the heated anticipation of “Falling In Love with Love” and openhearted integrity of “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” (from which Silver draws the album’s title), you fully believe not only every word she is singing but every emotion she is quietly, sometimes almost furtively, expressing.

For assistance on the album, Silver has assembled a team of players who, though not necessarily major marquee names, are the sort of skilled sidemen that other musicians are fully aware, and respectful, of. Together, pianist Joe Barbato, bassist Joe Fitzgerald, drummers Anthony Pinciotti and Todd Isler (who doubles on percussion) and guitarist Chris Bergson (the only holdover from Silver’s previous album), keep elegant pace with Silver, providing ideally understated backing that gently enrobes and enriches her vocals without ever overwhelming them.

The old Liza Minnelli/Frank Sinatra adage suggests that if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere. Well, Silver has already more than proven her ability to take Manhattan. Now it’s time for a wider national, and international, audience to get in on the secret.

- JazzTimes, Christopher Loudon

"Bristling with beauty and panache…. her voice is instantaneously engaging"

Bristling with beauty and panache Audrey Silver is back with a highly engaging offering that is guaranteed to warm your soul this season. I had the pleasure of hearing Silver on her last offering Dream Awhile and I was immediately taken by her almost Karen Carpenter vocal quality, and in my book that is the pinnacle of vocal sound. Like Carpenter, her voice is instantaneously engaging, warming, and leaves you feeling like thaudreye tune just hit the sweet spot. Silver’s range is undeniable, she hits the notes, whether high or low with ease and takes the listener through a varied of emotions with each lyrical storyline.

What is so profound about this offering is the extremely well-chosen and not oft covered chestnuts she has unearthed along with a dapple of Silver originals. One that struck me so profoundly was “The Cold Wind’s Embrace,” a supple, tune that showcases not only Silver’s ability to nail a ballad, which for anyone that understands singing knows this is where a vocalists salt is revealed is in simply stated, stunning. The lyrics are written in a jazz standard style, and I did have to look twice to see if it was a standard I had missed, and to my delight indeed it was a Silver original (lyrics: Silver, music: Silver and Gagne. What a delightfully uplifting treat to the cold winter days ahead.

Another absolutely surprise is the under-covered Bobby Troupe tune “Lemon Twist,” a breezy tune that swings with effervescence. Treated to a saucy sound by vibraphonist Tom Beckham, the tune bounces along with lilt, while Silver expertly traverses the quick witted lyric with graceful ease, hitting the low notes with rounded clarity and the high notes with pristine pitch.

There are so many outstanding performances on this album; it’s hard to truly choose which one is the standout. I suggest you pick up a copy for yourself, and truly experience why Audrey Silver is the preeminent jazz vocalist of this era. She’s got the goods, and she knows how to deliver! Highly Recommended. - All About Vocals

"Audrey Silver’s voice is exquisite. Warm and inviting..."

While it has already been extensively praised by many critics, it nevertheless bears constant repetition: Audrey Silver’s voice is exquisite. Warm and inviting, pairing a velvet-laden timbre with impeccable phrasing, Audrey’s vocal technique is a case study in making extraordinary artistry seem effortless. Adding to that, Audrey also has proven time and again to be exceedingly adept at playing to her vocal strengths, compiling a mixed songbook of original works, well-selected standards, and lesser-known fare that she imbues with an unforgettable musical fingerprint. At Club Bonafide, she is joined by pianist Jon Cowherd, trumpeter Alex Pope Norris, bassist Paul Beaudry and drummer Anthony Pinciotti. For fans of Jo Stafford, Sheila Horn or Frank Sinatra, Audrey Silver proves essential listening, and is not to be missed. Seaton Hawkins - Hot House Magazine

"Not since Karen Carpenter have I heard such a strong alto pure and so convincing."

Audrey Silver, Dream Awhile
Audrey received critical praise for her “vocal prowess” in her debut album, Here in My Arms, which featured pianist John Cowherd, bassist Doug Weiss, drummer Gerald Cleaver, guitarist Chis Bergson, percussionist Daniel Sadownick, and David Mann on flute and saxophones. In 2009, Audrey produced her latest CD, Dream Awhile, which features many of the players that have worked with her in New York clubs throughout her career, including pianist Joe Barbato, bassist Joe Fitzgerald, guitarist Chris Bergson, and drummers Anthony Pinciotti and Todd Isler. The recording features interpretations of 11 lesser known jazz standards.

Silver offers the listener a sophisticated style, which has a slow sexual burn as an undertone current. Silver also adorns the keen ability to skillfully scat melodically and with warmth and good pitch. Much more than just a technician, Silver drops notes from her mouth like warm honey drizzled onto chocolate morsels, pure sinful delight! You will want to share it with all your friends.

“The Song is Ended” is a luxurious cut that immediately endears the listener to Silver’s voice. Her tone is round, warm and wrapped with a low timbre, it send chills up your spine right out of the gate. Not since Karen Carpenter have I heard such a strong alto voice that is so pure and so convincing. Ably accompanied by pianist Barbato, he does not crowd Silver’s beautiful voice, which is especially important when supporting an alto voice, the low tones can easily be buried and lose their true beauty. He tastefully interacts, while drummer Chris Bergson and bassist Joe Fitzgerald create a swinging pad for Silver to shine. The arrangement is smart and features multiple modulations that showcase Silver’s ability to sound adept in various keys.

“So Many Stars” features Silver in a ballad setting a place where she really excels, he voice is bigger than life and offers the listener strength with intimate tenderness. Again the backing ensemble gently but so tastefully creates push and pull behind the vocalist who lilts and stretches the lyric with such grace, truly and emotional reading on a classic standard.

A playful reading of “I Could Write a Book” features Joe Barbato creating stride piano underneath Silver, and nice duet that allows the listener to hear every nuance of Silver’s voice, which is certainly a well developed instrument.

Dream Awhile is a must have vocal offering that I know you will revisit often for aural edification. -, Geannine Reid

""...she has the talent to be included among today's best jazz female singers.""

It is easy to tell, by the pure joy of Audrey Silver's voice on Dream Awhile, that this 2009 collection is the singer's favorite jazz standards. Silver amazing, glimmering tone shines all throughout, especially on the up-tempo, swinging tracks "I Will Wait For You," "Exactly Like You" and Irving Berlin's "The Song Is Ended." She even adds some Ella Fitzgerald-like scatting on "Falling In Love With Love."
Silver's sophisticated, classy phrasing makes her an equally good interpreter of ballads. Her delivery on "In The Wee Small Hours," "That's All" and Sergio Mendes' "So Many Stars" is beautiful and sensitive.

Johnny Mercer's "Too Marvelous For Words" receives a different treatment. with a slower and simpler, but effective arrangement, plus some melody changes by Silver that makes this a very interesting version. Silver also plays a little bit with the melody on "Exactly Like You"

Pianist Joe Barbato handles almost all the arrangements on Dream Awhile,\ including "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," where at certain moments Silver sings over just Joe Fitzgerald's powerful, swinging bass, while on "I Could Write a Book" it's an intimate duo of piano and voice. On the other hand, the cool voice, bass and percussion intro to "Falling in Love With Love"—before going into a full swing groove—and the waltz feel on Billy Strayhorn's "Day Dream," are both Silver arrangements.

With Dream Awhile Silver proves she has the talent to be included among today's best jazz female singers.

Track Listing: The Song Is Ended; In The Wee Small Hours; Falling In Love With Love; Too Marvelous For Words; I Will Wait For You; So Many Stars; Exactly Like You; That's All; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; Day Dream; I Could Write A Book.

Personnel: Audrey Silver: vocals; Joe Barbato: piano; Joe Fitzgerald: bass; Chris Bergson: guitar (3, 7, 10); Anthony Pinciotti: drums; Todd Isler: drums (3, 10), percussion (3). - All About Jazz, Wilbert Sostre

"Tanglewood Jazz Festival: Blend of Jazz & Classical September 4-5, 2010. "The highlight.....was Silver’s captivating interpretation of “The Meaning of the Blues.”"

Jazz Café Performances

The highlight from their sets was Silver’s captivating interpretation of “The Meaning of the Blues.”
-, Ken Franckling

""Subtle, stylish vocalist Audrey Silver...""

Subtle, stylish vocalist Audrey Silver shares songs from her well-received second album, Dream Awhile, with a strong combo featuring pianist Joshua Wolff, bassist Paul Beaudry and drummer Steve Johns. - Time Out Magazine

"Winner of the 2010 Tanglewood Jazz Cafe Video Contest"

Vocalist Audrey Silver has gained a New York City following by appearing at small clubs including 55 Bar, the Cutting Room and Cleopatra's Needle, and holding down long runs at the Benjamin Hotel and Bruno Jamais Restaurant and Club. Here In My Arms, her debut recording of 2003, and Dream Awhile, released late in 2009, present her singing mostly standards amid sympatico combos for whom she often writes arrangements. At one memorable performance at the 2007 JVC Jazz Festival New York, Silver was backed by pianist John Cowherd (producer for Lizz Wright and her accompanist on Here In My Arms) and bassist Paul Gabrielson, a 10-year veteran of the Kingston Trio.

Jazz Café Lineup
Saturday, September 4, 12:30 pm
Brandon Wright Quintet
Saturday, September 4, 6:30 pm
Kelley Johnson Quartet
Sunday, September 5, 12:30 pm
Audrey Silver Quartet
Sunday, September 5, 6:30 pm.
Noah Baerman Trio - Boston Symphony Orchestra

"Mark Murphy Quote"

Audrey Silver has that rare quality of light infectious swing that lights up her tall willowy persona.

- Mark Murphy, Jazz Vocalist (Four Time Winner of Downbeat Reader’s Poll, Six-time Grammy Nominee) - Mark Murphy, Jazz Vocalist (Four Time Winner of Downbeat Reader’s Poll, Six-time Grammy Nominee)

"Bob Dorough Quote"

Her voice rings true, with lovely tone and fine diction. She seems to pick the right tempo for each song she chooses. The ballads don’t just die there – they move! And most of all, when there is a tempo, she swings!!! I dug it. You’ll dig it too. - Bob Dorough, , Singer/Composer/Pianist


Here In My Arms - 2003

Dream Awhile - 2009

Very Early - 2016

Let Me Know Your Heart - 2019



With a growing catalog of outstanding recordings and a warm, swinging performing style, Audrey Silver is one of the most elegantly creative singers in jazz today. Known for what Hot House Jazz has called “extraordinary artistry” and “a velvet-laden timbre with impeccable phrasing,” Audrey has more recently become known for her compelling takes on well-known pop tunes and her own poignant originals. 

Her latest recording project and her fourth album, Let Me Know Your Heart, was released in early September 2019.  The album features a remarkable group of musicians including Bruce Barth on piano, trumpeter Marcus Printup, and is centered artistically and emotionally on Audrey’s six newly-penned original songs (out of fourteen total tracks). 

Let Me Know Your Heart’s title song, written by Audrey, has the flavor of an Irish jig and features her singing and also playing the Native American flute.  It also features Audrey’s renditions of Abbey Lincoln’s “Up Jumped Spring,” Irving Berlin’s “How Deep is the Ocean,” and Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill.”  Altogether the album is a wonderful example of Audrey’s superb ability to set a compelling scene in song. 

Audrey’s previous recording project, Very Early, was released in October 2016.  Included in the stellar line-up is Barth and the highly respected drummer Lewis Nash. Creatively arranged by singer, composer, and Berklee professor Steven Santoro, the album bravely stretches across the spectrum from the cherished show tune-turned-jazz-standard, “Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” to the late Mose Allison’s “What’s with You,” to several of Audrey’s own compositions including “The Cold Wind’s Embrace,” and “When the World Was New.”  Very Early also includes the French song, Jardin D’Hiver by K. A. Zeidel and B. Biolay. 

Born and raised in New York City, Audrey graduated from Brown University, where she founded The Higher Keys, the school’s first a capella singing group. After stints working in marketing for CBS Masterworks (now Sony Classical) and Chesky Records, Audrey returned to school and earned an MBA from Columbia University Business School. 

Audrey began her singing career in earnest in 1998 when she teamed with Jon Raney, son of pianist Jimmy Raney and produced her first demo with the help of Ronnie Zito (Woody Herman, Bobby Darin) and Jay Leonhart (Judy Garland, Tony Bennett). 

In the meantime, she honed her craft through private study with singers Shelia Jordan and Mark Murphy, that latter who eloquently described her voice as having “that rare quality of light infectious swing that lights up her tall willowy persona.” Audrey has built a respected and successful career by performing at an array of New York’s best-known jazz clubs and music venues including Zinc Bar, Jazz at Kitano, 55 Bar, & the Cornelia Street Cafe. Nationally, Audrey performed at large festivals and venues around the country including the Tanglewood Jazz Festival and the JVC Jazz Festival. She was a semi-finalist in the 2016 edition of the international Songwriting Competition. 

Along with Let Me Know Your Heart and Very Early, Audrey has released two additional albums through her production company Messy House Productions: Here In My Arms and Dream Awhile. 

Receiving high praise from the jazz press, noted that “Her clarity and enunciation is on par with the great Jo Stafford and her breath control— a talent so often, and so wrongfully, overlooked— rivals Sinatra’s.”  The same website reinforced a comparison she has heard numerous: “Not since Karen Carpenter have I heard such a strong alto voice that is so pure and so convincing.” 

Audrey commented about songwriting and what started her down this path.  “When my son was four and going through an obsessive boat phase, he said, 'Mommy write me a song about boats.' It took me about five minutes to write, 'Farewell to The Harbor’.  The song was a simple blues tune with a bridge, but it turned out that the song actually includes a poignant metaphor about a child separating from the safety of its parents. That was when I first realized that I might actually be able to do this.  Songwriting begins with tapping into what is in your heart and adding a melody to it.  I’m a storyteller at heart but I feel different about the way stories are told than I used to. I feel like it’s much more of an emotional than verbal story at this point.” 

Crediting musical luminaries as diverse as Bill Evans, Annie Lennox and Arnold Schoenberg as influences on her artistry, Audrey has found new challenges and satisfaction in becoming a songwriter and looks forward to sharing more of her music with her audiences in the coming years.

Band Members