Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Roberta Gambarini: So In Love (2009)

SO in LOVE is a CD of compassion and passion of Roberta's love of life, her fellow musicians, her audiences, and her love of music! Each of us will have our favorite tracks as my tastes will likely differ from yours; however I believe we will agree that this CD is likely to be one of the best vocal albums of 2008. 2009, and one of the finest vocal CD's of all time.
Roberta Gambarini is an Italian jazz singer. She was born in Turin, Italy, and started taking clarinet lessons at age twelve. She made her singing debut at age seventeen in jazz clubs around Northern Italy. A year later she moved to Milan where she got national recognition. But it was after she had come to America and studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston that she brought her talents to New York City looking for work. After walking the pavement and knocking on many doors, she finally got her big break in 2006 with the release of her album "Easy to Love," which caught the attention of jazz critics and musicians familiar with the heritage of a rich African-American art form that was increasingly being taken for granted in a new millennium preoccupied with electronica and country music. Taking a classic modern jazz album by Dizzy Gillespie ("Sonny Side Up," Verve, 1957), she sang each of the solos by three undisputed masters of the idiom—trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and tenor saxophonists Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins. As intricate and complex as each solo was, Gambarini executed each in the original register of horn (including Rollins' lowest notes and Gillespie's stratospheric ones) with such command, accuracy and ease of execution that jazz' elder statesman, nonagenarian pianist Hank Jones was moved to publicly proclaim her the "best new jazz vocalist to come along in fifty years"--in other words, the successor to jazz divas Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.
Two subsequent albums, though less challenging, did nothing to diminish the strength of Jones' claim, as again she revealed a near-complete and flawless grasp of both the authentic "jazz tradition" and the "Great American Songbook," from Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" to Benny Carter's "The Lights Are Low" to Cole Porter's "From This Moment On." In an extremely competitive field of highly capable, even pyrotechnical, jazz vocalists—from Ann Hampton Calloway to Cheryl Bentyne to Diane Schuur to Cleo Laine, Tierney Sutton, and Karrin Allyson, Gambarini appears to be even more gifted, a once-in-a-lifetime talent, a virtual polymath whose knowledge of the whole tradition (she has befriended many of the elderly legends of the music) and natural-born gifts set her apart so undeniably that she may be the "story" that America's waning indigenous music so desperately needs. Far more than a "vocalese" singer (though a founding father of vocalese, saxophonist James Moody, has joined her on two recording sessions), she has taken jazz singing to another level, thinking and performing like an instrumentalist who knows that the doors to the kingdom are open only to those who, regardless of their mother tongue, have learned to speak the utterly unique, admittedly daunting language of "bebop," or modern jazz as played by Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Bud Powell. It should not be taken lightly when, in interviews, she reveals that her greatest influence as a youthful girl singer was someone who was a singer and much more—the first distinguished soloist in the history of the music, Louis Armstrong.
Gambarini does not merely try to sound like an instrumentalist: she thinks like an Armstrong, Parker or John Coltrane: she "plays" her voice like these jazz greats because, besides her control of pitch, range, and articulations, she has the ability to hear the demanding constructions performed by jazz great soloists. She's the Art Tatum of jazz vocalists, but she's also revealed that she has the capacity to be the Billie Holiday of jazz singing as well. Rarely has a talent come along that has affirmed so completely the art form that America was once not too distracted to claim as its own. ~ SoundUnwound - Wikipedia
Roberta Gambarini - Vocal
James Moody – Tenor Sax
Roy Hargrove – Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Tamir Hendelman, Eric Gunnison, Gerald Clayton – Piano
Chuck Berghofer, Neil Swainson, George Mraz – Bass
Jake Hanna, Al Foster, Montez Coleman, Jeff Hamilton – Drums
01 So In Love
02 Day In, Day Out
03 Get Out Of Town
04 Crazy
05 That Old Black Magic
06 Estate
07 Beatles Medley: Golden Slumbers / Here, There And Everywhere
08 I See Your Face Before Me
09 From This Moment On
10 You Must Believe In Spring
11 This Is Always
12 You Ain't Nothing But A J.A.M.F.
13 Medley From "Cinema Paradiso": Main Theme / Song For Elena
14 Over The Rainbow
So In Love
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