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Roberta Gambarini - Under Italian Skies (2009)

6-04-2015, 17:29
Music | Jazz | Vocal Jazz

Roberta Gambarini - Under Italian Skies (2009)

Artist: Roberta Gambarini
Title Of Album: Under Italian Skies
Year Of Release: 2009
Genre: Jazz Vocals
Label: Kind Of Blue
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 49:33+45:54
Total Size: 115+107 MB
Covers: Front

CD 1:
01. Ape Regina (6:56)
02. Quietati, Erba Dolce (4:28)
03. 12 00 A.M (6:10)
04. Agrifoglio (4:28)
05. Diana (4:59)
06. Giovani Poeti (4:46)
07. Sorella Senza Nome (5:35)
08. Olive D'inverno (6:41)
09. Impronte (5:24)

CD 2:
01. Il Cielo Della Mia Memoria (5:20)
02. Danza Dei Veli (5:55)
03. Un Pernod... S'il Vous Plait (5:43)
04. Arimo, I Signori (5:22)
05. Lampare (7:22)
06. Teatro Eden (4:41)
07. Per Sempre (5:14)
08. La Plage (4:27)
09. In Punta Di Piedi (1:48)

This CD listed as being by Roberta Gambarini is not at all representative of her work as a jazz vocalist. Despite the top billing she receives on the cover, Gambarini is not the leader, but a vocalist who did a favor by appearing on sessions led by bassist/composer Andrea Donati before she had gained international recognition for her jazz vocals. The outside packaging and lack of liner notes are of little help to explain how this music came about, but it was previously issued under Donati's name (without a co-billing for Gambarini) as two separate CDs in 1995 and 1998: disc 1 as Ape Regina, disc 2 as Le Ciel de Ma Memoire, both on the Amiata label. The singer was brought in after several previous vocalists failed to satisfy Donati, while the songs were new to her. For the first session, the bassist wrote music to fit the words of contemporary Italian poet Alda Merini. Gambarini either sings the text in Italian or wordlessly to provide background color. A lack of knowledge of Italian handicaps the listener considerably, though Gambarini's rich voice seems to communicate the feeling of the text. The singer's sex appeal comes through in the romantic opener "Ape Regina," with organist Emmanuel Bex providing a refreshing change from the usual piano accompaniment. The funky "12:00 A.M." adds the overdubbed horns of Marco Brioschi, with a bit of a reggae rhythm at times, along with Gambarini's fun scat singing. "Giovani Poeti" is a delicious bossa nova with another warm performance by the vocalist. The second disc is a bit more of a mixed bag, with Gambarini absent from several tracks and often having a very minimal role when present. Donati wrote both the words and music to the haunting ballad "Il Cielo della Mia Memoria," a piece suggesting the recall of a past love, wonderfully accented by accordionist Gianni Coscia, Donati, the whispering brushes of Carlos Virzi, with the surprise addition of Federcio Sanesi on tabla. At this point, the tabla becomes more prominent as the music gets difficult to classify, blending ballads with music from India, Brazil and elsewhere. Starting with "Danzi del Veli," Gambarini takes on more of a supporting role, multi-tracking background vocals, with the focus on soprano saxophonist Silvio Binello. "Un Pernod..., s'il Vous Plait" begins as if it will launch into an Astor Piazzolla tango with the solo accordion, though Gambarini's lush wordless vocal and Donati's bass provide the only other instrumentation, a lovely performance. Donati overdubs two bass lines in his catchy folk song "Teatro Eden," with minimal tabla and percussion behind him. All in all, this release has some interesting world music, though jazz fans of Gambarini will likely be expecting something very different from what they will hear. ~Review by Ken Dryden

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