Roberta Gambarini – Easy To Love (2006)

Roberta Gambarini - Easy To Love (2006)
Artist: Roberta Gambarini
Album: Easy To Love
Genre: Vocal Jazz
Origin: Italy
Released: 2006
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

Tracklist:
01. Easy To Love (4:49)
02. Only Trust Your Heart (4:12)
03. Lover Man (6:00)
04. On The Sunny Side Of The Street (5:40)
05. Porgy, I’s Your Woman Now / I Loves You, Porgy (7:25)
06. Lover Come Back To Me (5:44)
07. The Two Lonely People (6:13)
08. Centerpiece (5:21)
09. Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry (6:00)
10. No More Blues (3:14)
11. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes / All The Things You Are (5:53)
12. Too Late Now (5:11)
13. Multi-Colored Blue (6:30)
14. Monk’s Prayer / Looking Back (5:24)

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Roberta Gambarini was a virtual unknown outside of Europe before coming to the United States and dazzling both seasoned jazz musicians and critics alike. Under the wing of Benny Carter for several years prior to his death in 2003, the Italian singer with an expressive, clear, and consistently swinging vocal style has seen her reputation spread widely, culminating in this initial American release. Her delightful take on the standard “Easy to Love” includes a bit of soft scatting in tandem with Chuck Berghofer’s bass. Her expressive interpretation of “On the Sunny Side of the Street” finds her scatting to each of the demanding solos from a recorded collaboration by Sonny Stitt, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sonny Rollins, as well as adding some original vocalese to each of the solos. She is just as effective handling Bill Evans’ bittersweet ballad “The Two Lonely People” and Billy Strayhorn’s overlooked gem “Multi-Colored Blue.” Tenor saxophonist James Moody is a special guest on “Lover Man” and the swinging “Centerpiece,” on the latter playing in unison with Gambarini and engaging in a friendly, often hilarious scat duet with her as well. With this first-rate 2006 release, Roberta Gambarini makes a strong case for consideration as one of the most impressive jazz vocalists to arrive on the scene over the previous two decades; her attractive voice, impeccable taste, and skills as an arranger make her impossible to resist.
Review by Ken Dryden

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