Abbie Gardner | My Craziest Dream

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Moods: Featuring Piano
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My Craziest Dream

by Abbie Gardner

Jazz Vocals with dashes of Norah Jones, Aretha Franklin, and Billie Holiday
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Happy Feet
Abbie Gardner
2:32 $0.99
2. It's Only A Paper Moon
Abbie Gardner
3:10 $0.99
3. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
Abbie Gardner
2:30 $0.99
4. Under A Blanket Of Blue
Abbie Gardner
4:00 $0.99
5. Them There Eyes
Abbie Gardner
3:47 $0.99
6. Cheek to Cheek
Abbie Gardner
4:17 $0.99
7. I Had The Craziest Dream
Abbie Gardner
3:14 $0.99
8. Your Mother's Son-in-Law
Abbie Gardner
2:42 $0.99
9. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Abbie Gardner
3:06 $0.99
10. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
Abbie Gardner
3:27 $0.99
11. Mean To Me
Abbie Gardner
3:42 $0.99
12. Tuxedo Junction
Abbie Gardner
3:08 $0.99
13. Ain't Misbehavin
Abbie Gardner
3:47 $0.99
14. Staten Island
Herb Gardner
2:46 $0.99
15. Gunshots and Sirens
Herb Gardner
3:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Here is my Craziest Dream...
My father is a seasoned pianist and arranger who has played with the likes of Roy Eldridge, Gene Krupa, and Bobby Hackett, just to name a few. I've looked up to him all my life while singing along with Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald records, imagining my father as Teddy Wilson and myself as Billie... then I was able to live that dream while making my very first full-length, independently-released CD.

That is the story of Herb Gardner and Abbie Gardner. The father-daughter team that has been compared to Nat King Cole and his daughter, Natalie, except that they are still alive and well. In fact, they've only just begun.


Abbie began singing Jazz standards with The Galvanized Jazz Band in 2001 and has since cut her teeth as a vocalist with Stan Rubin's Tigertown Five, The Stan Rubin Orchestra, Vince Giordano's Nighthawks, The New Deal Orchestra and Herb Gardner's Groundhog Band. Her singing style has been compared to Billie Holiday and Norah Jones.

Abbie's interest in music started as a young child. She played flute classically throughout school and began singing in a cappella groups in 1992. As the musical director for the Boston University Treblemakers, Abbie released an a cappella CD in 1997 called "Treble in The Waters." In 1998, Abbie began playing guitar and has been writing and performing original acoustic blues/folk songs since then, with independent recording efforts "Tea and a Cookie, " "Southern Rain," and self-titled CD "Abbie Gardner". Performing in coffee shops across the country led Abbie to develop the "Open Mic Directory," a portion of her website that has been an invaluable resource to independent musicians nationwide since 1999.

Abbie's debut jazz recording, "My Craziest Dream," is a father-daughter effort, featuring Herb Gardner on piano and consummate and in-demand NYC musicians Dan Levinson (reeds), Robbie Scott (drums) and Mike Weatherly (bass). These cats bring to life such favorites as "Mean to Me," "Them There Eyes" and "Paper Moon," while Ms. Gardner's vocals glide along top like Fred Astaire in a movie made long before her time.

Abbie sings with Stan Rubin's Orchestra downtown in NY at The Cajun Restaurant and several father-daughter shows are in progress. Performances include: Poughkeepsie Swing Dance Society, The Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp, The Annual Groundhog's Day Jam, Jim Lowe and Company Radio Show and The Millpond Tavern Mardi Gras celebration with the Galvanized Jazz Band. For information check out

Soon after moving to New York in 1963, Herb Gardner began touring with Wild Bill Davison, Kenny Davern and Dick Wellstood as well as becoming a regular at the Metropole, Jimmy Ryan's and Eddie Condon's nightclub. During the '60s and '70s he appeared with virtually all of the classic jazz musicians in the New York City area, including Roy Eldridge, Gene Krupa, Henry "Red" Allen, Bobby Hackett, Jimmy Rushing, Doc Cheatham, Max Kaminsky and even Wingy Manone.

For many years, Herb served as co-leader of Vince Giordano's Nighthawks, playing for the inauguration of George Bush, Bill Clinton's victory party and countless other society affairs. In June, 1997 he conducted the "Big Broadcasters" in the opening concert of the New York City JVC Jazz festival.

Through his association with Al "Jazzbeaux" Collins and the Smith Street Society Jazz Band, Herb has written the music and words to many specialty songs heard regularly on New York radio, including "Jazzbeaux's Time of Night" and theme songs for many other radio personalities.

Herb's latest CD, "Groundhog's Day", features 14 original songs and several Jazz Age classics. This adds to an extensive discography of over 20 recordings, including two albums with the great Leon Redbone. For more information go to



to write a review


WOW - Tough to sit still and drive while listening
I just loved it. I didn't know what to expect having only seen or heard Abbie on acoustic guitar. Well, she and Daddy REALLY brought these old classics to life! I didn't even like some of these songs before. It ain't just your feets gonna be happy when you hear this!

Barry Adelman

My Mother Loved It! She was up and dancing.
I had already listened to this cd and bought one for my mother; she's a young 80 and I thought she would recognize most of the cuts. She did and she loved it. She told me she was up and dancing around. Great CD!

Neal Wexler

Very tallented singer puts out an extremely enjoyable album.
Abbie's voice is the center piece of the CD, but the whole album is aided by strong musicianship and excellent songs. The album gets better with every listen and makes you feel good the whole time.

The pure love of the music they are playing comes through clearly. They are obviously having fun.

I recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of jazz singers and jazz music. These are people at the top of their craft.

Jeffry Braun

Authentic Sound + New Voice = Great CD
From the opening bars of "Happy Feet" you know you are in for a treat. Authentic sound of old-time jazz standards with Abbie's strong, distinct voice. As for the band, "these guys have chops." check it out.

Cadence Magazine

She has the chops to carry this off!
Abbie Gardner has a strong throaty voice
that’s reminiscent of Wesla Whitfield’s. On My
Craziest Dream, which appears to be her debut,
she uses it to render evergreens from the 1920s
and 1930s with a crew of guys who play like they
were around when this music was the cat’s pajamas.
I assume the pianist Herb Gardner is her
father, but her starring role has nothing to do with
nepotism. She has the chops to carry this off. She
delivers these songs enthusiastically as if they
were new. She takes them head on, on their own
terms, and embodies their insouciant spirit. Pianist
Gardner supports her with four-square stride piano
and reedman Dan Levinson offers up solos that
never stray from the truisms of traditional swing,
yet never sound archaic. This sounds like music
that would be perfectly at home in some local
watering hole, the musical equivalent of homecooked
comfort food. Tacked onto the end of the
session are two pieces featuring originals written
and sung by Herb Gardner. They mine the same
stylistic territory musically, but the subject matter is
more personal. “Staten Island” is a rollicking
Broadway-like celebration of “Staten Island,” complete
with rat-a-ma-tat drum solo climax.
“Gunshots and Sirens” is better, a humorous tribute
to the city life. Gardner claims he’d rather put up
with “gunshots and sirens” instead of “deer in the
woods carrying Lyme disease.” It’s all good fun, and
I expect goes over well live. I know this CD wets
my appetite to hear the Gardners and company in the flesh.

Sophia Gurley

The Ectophile’s Guide to Good Music
I'm not usually a huge fan of jazz standards, but Abbie Gardner's fine, lively, nuanced interpretations of this material really won me over... Each line she sings is alive and is just right. I found the songs commanded my attention and each verse drew out new elements in familiar songs. She's got a great sense of rhythm and the songs really swing. This album is a gem.

Wil Owen

Easily transports you back in time to when jazz was great!
When I first popped in Abbie Gardner's CD My Craziest Dream, I was easily transported back in time to when jazz was great. I really enjoy jazz from the 1920s, '30s and '40s. Apparently, so does Abbie. This isn't surprising. Her father, Herb, is a jazz pianist. From a young age, Abbie sang along with Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald on the record player. Now, she claims, she was able to "live that dream" of singing some of these legendary tunes with the release of her own CD.

Abbie belts out 13 tunes on My Craziest Dream. Out of these jazz classics, perhaps one of my favorites is the first track, "Happy Feet." From the first sound of the fast-paced drum intro, your toes start tappin' to the beat. As the song suggests, "...when they hear a tune, I can't control my dancing gear to save my soul." The liner notes should contain a warning label not to play this track while driving.

Most of you are probably familiar with "Please Don't Talk About Me." The instruments make this track shine. I've always been amused at how upbeat and positive the melody is while the lyrics focus on the breakup of a friendship with both parties going their own ways. I choose to focus on the instruments as they play back and forth off each other. This is jazz the way it is meant to be played!

There are two bonus tracks on the CD. Abbie's dad, Herb, plays piano on all the tracks as well as providing backing vocals when required. Now, he performs lead vocals on "Staten Island" and "Gunshots and Sirens" -- both H. Gardner originals. You will quickly notice that his gravely voice is far from polished...But Herb's vocals have character. Like his piano playing, his scratchy voice adds some "oomph" to the songs.

The highlight of My Craziest Dream is easily the clarinet and sax player, Dan Levinson. If this CD were a movie, Dan would be stealing each scene he is in! When Dan and Herb go to town, whether their instruments are dueling or complementing the other, My Craziest Dream is at its best. Rounding out the sound is Mike Weatherly on upright bass and Robbie Scott on percussion.

I like My Craziest Dream by Abbie Gardner. If you are a fan of early jazz, I think you will enjoy it, too. This is a collection of great songs... The instruments begged me to keep listening. Abbie's vocals have now grown on me and I enjoy the package as a whole. If you give it a chance, you will hear what I mean.

published 15 May 2004

Mike Stanton

"ItDoesn't Get Any better Than This!"
Abbie Gardner reminds me of the great Ethel Waters. These are fabulous arrangements of great material,tastefully accompanied by stellar musicianship and a young lady who has a real empathy with swing and good time jazz of the 20s and 30s."A must have cd!"

Peter Hamlen

I love her voice - but all the tracks seem similar
I heard a couple of her songs (happy feet, "please don't talk about me") on WNYE and decided to buy the album. I think she has an absolutely lovely voice and I'm addicted to her "It's only a paper moon" rendition.

But overall, I think that the album suffers from the fact that all the songs are arranged as "peppy" swing numbers. After listening to the first couple of songs, it starts to become a little monotonous. I would love a little more variation across the album.

Ed Konopka

With Abbie's engaging vocals and a group that swings, this CD is a delight ! A foot tapping treat ! But, don't take my word for it...........JUST BUY IT !!!
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