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July/August 2001

Roseanna Vitro
Conviction (Thoughts of Bill Evans)
A Records

Vocalist Roseanna Vitro calls on a Texas blues background to give "Funkallero" a performance loaded not only with the essential ingredient of the little but also with the wit and style demanded by the moldy and Karen Gallinger's lyrics. At the other end of Bill Evans' range as a composer, she brings to "Letter to Evan" a sensitive straight reading of Evans' melody and touching words, adding just a dash of soaring invention in the coda. "Turn Out the Stars," in a duet with Fred Hersch, succeeds on the empathy between the pianist and the singer and on the way the colors in Vitro's voice underline the resignation in Gene Lees' lyrics. She serves Lees and Evans equally well in "Waltz for Debbie" and the charming "My Bells."

She proves in the leaps of "Very Early" that she is capable of nailing difficult intervals, so it is puzzling why the singer finds it necessary to resort to upward swoops on the verge of shouting in "Two Lonely People." She does it the same way on both of her choruses, so it must be the way she wanted it, but it is a jarring aspect of an otherwise lovely album. Hersch is a perfect accompanist in his two duet tracks and one trio selection with Vitro. Allen Farnham and Mark Soskin split piano duties on the remaining songs. Scott Lee and Eddie Gomez alternate on bass. Adrian D'Souza is the drummer throughout.

Originally published in July/August 2001
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