The Star Ledger (Jersey Jazz Grooves) 10/22/2006 by Zan Stewart – Review of Jerry Vezza’s “You Are There” (Bridge Pin Records)
THE STAR LEDGER – Madison pianist and composer Vezza is a musician who favors crisp, clean statements that are full of melodic charm. Working with on-the-rise New Brunswick bassist Tom DiCarlo and sure-footed drummer Glenn Davis, Vezz sings with his hands. On a standard like “I Wished on the Moon,” he finds a way to reshape the classic theme to make it sound fresh again, mixing bits of the written line with his own tasteful thoughts. Here, DiCarlo also showcases his fine improvisational sense, employing a firm, glowing sound to fashion ideas that pop with rhythmic heat and mellifluous juice. “Bossa Diane,” for Vezza’s wife, has beguiling flow and warmth. Understatement marks the composer’s improv approach. Several selections spotlight Union City vocalist Frank Noviello, a first-rate jazz singer with a luminous tenor voice and a superbly supple snese of time. Noviello, who deserves his own CD, lights up “While We’re Young,” sliding smoothly from theme notes to embellishments. Vezza and company support him with easy-chair comfort, then Vezza drops in a few spot-on statements. Noviello does “You Don’t Know What Love Is” as low-key Latin vehicle, and invests the title track, a Dave Frishberg-Johnny Mandel favorite, with potent emotion.