Album Review: "Back to the Garden" by Judy Wexler (8/10)

Jewel City Jazz

Producers: Judy Wexler, Jeff Colella

Though L.A. jazz vocal treasure Judy Wexler and her cadre of storied sidemen have a trippy, soulfully and colorfully arranged blast mining emotional gold from a tasty swirl of iconic, socially conscious songs from the 60’s and 70’s (Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Buffalo Springfield), Back to the Garden is much more than a nostalgia trip. Drawing on her inimitable ability to inhabit classic lyrics––and her way of balancing melancholy with bold, much needed shards of hope––Wexler renders anew these oft-heard tunes as fresh, incisive social commentary on our modern socio-political landscape.