So In Love
Listening to the way Roberta Gambarini orchestrates the honey-toned instrument that is her voice, with breathing, phrasing and space, is pure bliss. Combine such artistry with a collection of timeless jazz standards and you have the formula for the the Italian-born singer’s latest, Grammy-nominated recording So In Love. The 13-track collection is a blend of swingers like “Get Out of Town” and “That Old Black Magic” and tender interludes like “You Must Believe In Spring” and “Over The Rainbow”. The singer’s tones are solidly augmented by the presence of greats like saxophonist James Moody, bassist George Mraz , drummer Al Foster and pianist Gerald Clayton, among many others. Roy Hargrove adds his trumpet magic to a very well-done version of the Willie Nelson classic ”Crazy”, which Gambarini arranged, as she did with almost all the tracks on the recording. In addition, Gambarini wrote the lyrics for Johnny Griffin’s ”You Aint Nothin’ But A JAMF”, as if her performance alone on this project is not enough, and it is more than plenty.
Click here to listen to a clip of “I See Your Face Before Me”.
Tracks: So In Love, Day In Day Out, Get Out Of Town, Crazy, That Old Black Magic, Estate, Golden Slumbers/Here There and Everywhere, I See Your Face Before Me, From This Moment On, You Must Believe In Spring, This Is Always, You Aint Nothin’ But A JAMF, Medley From Cinema Paradiso, Over The Rainbow.
John Abercrombie Quartet
Wait Till You See Her
Although one might deem this a rather “quiet” album, it does not lack in energy. Abercrombie, whose guitar work is always mesmerizing, is joined by violinist Mark Feldman for some outstandingly beautiful interplay on this project. Though the songs are most ballads, there are a couple of swinging moments which are equally interesting. The sound of both stringed instruments is captivating on every tune. Drummer Joey Baron and bassist Thomas Morgan round out this quartet of virtuoustic talents to make this an outstanding artistic production.
Click here to listen to a clip of “Out of Towner”.
Tracks: Sad Song, Line-Up, Wait Till You See Her, Trio, I’ve Overlooked Before, Anniversary Waltz, Out of Towner, Chic of Araby.
Roy Hargrove Big Band
Trumpeter Roy Hargrove has recorded in just about every kind of musical context imaginable, from quintets to hip-hop collectives, so it’s fitting that he would take the turn towards big band. His orchestra is comprised of some 19 members but sounds much bigger. Despite this, Hargrove manages to soar above the cacophony of brass. The piano in this ensemble is elevated by the presence of Gerald Clayton on the recording and vocalist Roberta Gambarini contributes her voice to 2 songs, including “Everytime We Say Goodbye”. If that’s not enough, Hargrove contributes his own singing voice to “September In The Rain”, which includes a fun interplay with the band. Whether with voice, trumpet or flugelhorn, Hargrove manages to make this a thoroughly enjoyable experience that is well worthy of the Grammy nomination which it received.
Click here to listen to a clip of “My Funny Valentine”.
Tracks: Velera, Ms. Garvey, Ms. Garvey, My Funny Valentine, Mambo For Roy, Requiem, September In The Rain, Everytime We Say Goodbye, La Puerta, Roy Allan, Tschpiso, Trust.
En Este Momento
Singer Claudia Acuña’s delivers a lyric with such beauty and passion that you are captured from the very first word, even if you don’t understand a word of Spanish in which most of the songs on this recording are delivered. Acuna is assisted in this effort with a production that really enhances her voice, from composition to sound quality. The album is further enhanced by by excellent musicianship. Jason Lindner, with whom the singer co-wrote the beautiful “That’s What They Say”, provides piano organ and other keys, Clarence Penn is on drums, Juancho Herrera provides guitar, and Omer Avital plays bass. Labelmate Branford Marsalis adds his saxophone to ”Cuando Vuelvo A Tu Lado” (“What A Difference A Day Makes”). At the center of it all, Acuña’s voice makes this recording a work of art that is truly engaging.
Click here to listen to a clip of “El Cigarrito”.
Tracks: El Cigarrito, Te Recuerdo Amanda, Tulum, That’s What They Say, El Derecho De Vivir En Paz, Contigo En La Distancia, Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado, Vuelvo Al Sur, Sueño Contigo, La Mentira (Se Te Olvida) .