Roberta and her friends!

iday, May 22, 2009
ROBERTA GAMBARINI'S SO in LOVE, spring, summer, fall 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.

The CD opens and closes with just Tamir Hendelman and Roberta playing and singing the lovely notes of SO in LOVE and OVER THE RAINBOW as pure as the snow white cover of the CD and CD jacket. This is a CD of purity of sound and enunciaton from Tamir's first notes to Roberta's last notes in OVER THE RAINBOW. As Duke and Wayne Shorter have both said that there is no beginning and ending in music, it just keeps moving. You'll find that Roberta's first CD'S in America, EASY TO LOVE, YOU ARE THERE, AND NOW SO in LOVE, tell her life's story, and it will continue! Next month June in Toronto, she's showcasing her virtuosity with just bassist NEIL SWAINSON.

SO in LOVE is as perfect a CD as any I've ever heard; however two tracks were recorded after 9/11 in 2001, and Roberta's voice undoubtedly has matured in 8 years. However George Mraz's bass work on those two tracks, YOU MUST BELIEVE IN SPRING and Medley from Cinema Pardiso is outstanding.

Following So In Love, Jake Hanna and Roberta open DAY IN AND DAY OUT, and Roberta appropriately pays tribute to "Jake Hanna's drums" during the tune. The two do an entire chorus before Tamir and Chuck Berghofer come in. Tamir plays a fine solo at a fairly brisk tempo.

Tamir and Roberta do the verse to GET OUT OF TOWN, and Roberta's longtime buddy JAMES MOODY joins them with gorgeous sound and choice of notes. Once in tempo with Chuck and Jake, Roberta is right in the pocket. Roberta often uses this tune to get her rhythm section in the groove during live performances, and the groove is there on the CD. Moody plays beautifully as usual, but I think he was special on this CD, just like his most recent CD with HANK JONES, "OUR DELIGHT".

CRAZY and HERE,THERE AND EVERYWHERE are likely to expand Roberta's audience base. Roy Hargrove's flugelhorn adds to Roberta's wonderful performance of CRAZY as does Jake's brush work.

THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC, one of Roberta's mainstays in live performance featured a driving ERIC GUNNISON on piano, Neil Swainson, bass and Montez Coleman, drums. Gunnison plays the entire piano from one end to the other; Roberta cooks and wails!

ESTATE featured GERALD CLAYTON who played a beautiful solo on ONLY TRUST YOUR HEART. (Roberta's grammy nominated EASY TO LOVE). ESTATE composed by Italian composers BRUNO MARTINO and BRUNO BRIGHETTI; so Roberta does it in Italian, one of the at least 4 languages in which Roberta performs. Once in tempo, Jake plays the drums with just his hands. Gerald's solo, lyrical as usual with a wonderful choice of notes, a young man who tells a very mature story when he plays.

GOLDEN SLUMBERS/HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE, Roberta is singing to the children of the world. You can bet some young ROBERTA GAMBARINIS out there will hear this and follow in Roberta's footsteps. Slumbers seques into the Beatles tune in waltz tempo. The rhythm section of Tamir, Chuck and Jake groove.

I SEE YOUR FACE BEFORE ME. a Schwartz/Dietz gem "screamed for a tenor saxophone solo" in Roberta's mind, and indeed MOODY DID PRODUCE A MIRACLE!

Roberta, Neal Swainson and Montez Coleman kick off FROM THIS MOMENT ON at a tempo of maybe 240. This is the burner of the CD. Eric comes in on the second chorus, and the four blaze away. Split second modulations, Eric shows off his very clean chops. Roberta's forte scatting at fast tempos; (you never want to follow one of Roberta's solos unless you're a FRANK WESS, MOODY OR ROY HARGROVE.)

I actually identify YOU MUST BELIEVE IN SPRING with great versions by PHIL WOODS AND BILL EVANS. Roberta's is GEORGE MRAZ. This tune was a savior for Roberta as she witnessed first hand the horrors of 9/11 from her midtown apartment. On the 15th when commercial flights resumed, Roberta wisely got the hell out of NYC and retreated to the beauty of BIG SUR to record this piece.

JEFF HAMILTON joins Chuck, Tamir, Moody, and Roy Hargrove to help Roberta produce a gorgeous version of THIS IS ALWAYS. The horns trade phrases beautifully and delicately, and no one steps on or gets in the way of the other, lucious closing harmony.

YOU AIN'T NOTHING BUT A JAMF is Roberta's tribute to friend JOHNNY GRIFFIN and the blues! Roberta wrote the lyrics to Griffin's tune and wails and solos as a great laid back blues singer.

The MEDLEY FROM CINEMA PARADISO tells Roberta's story of someone who has had to leave her country for a better life or for greater opportunities.

Hundreds of people have recorded OVER THE RAINBOW, but Roberta's and Tamir's version is as fresh as any considering this tune is 70 years old this year and won the academy award in 1939.

It's hard to single out any track on this cd and say it's the best. THIS IS A COMPLETE PACKAGE!
Posted by wen mew at 3:32 PM

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