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 Easy To Love 

Roberta Gambarini (vocals)
James Moody (tenor sax & vocal)
Tamir Hendelman (piano)
Gerald Clayton (piano)
John Clayton (bass)
Chuck Berghofer (bass)
Willie Jones IIII (drums)
Joe La Barbera (drums)

There are few voices in jazz which receive eulogies like these from such authoritative sources. It?s all the more astonishing that it is a European singer who earns such tributes from musicians on both sides of the Atlantic. Indeed, Roberta Gambarini is the exemplary and self-confident answer to the plethora of female vocalists from Europe, among whom ? let?s face it ? are a number of inadequate and over-hyped talents. But let us tell Roberta?s story from the beginning. Most jazz lovers will be familiar with the musical Roberta from the year 1930, which features the famous evergreen, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. A young couple from Turin loved this tune so much that they decided to name their new-born daughter after it. They could have had no premonition that their baby child would become an internationally known singer. Today Roberta Gambarini proves every time she sings that the association of her name with music from the Great American Songbook was most appropriate. With a lyrical singing style which shows commitment to the heritage of Monk, Gillespie and Benny Carter, she delights us with her d?but album, Easy To Love, recorded in L. A. At the age of 17, Roberta Gambarini was winning warm applause from audiences in clubs in Northern Italy. Two years later she was touring the whole country, newly honoured with a prize in a national jazz competition. Her career became more firmly established when she moved to Milan. In 1998 she arrived in the USA to take up her studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston. Just two weeks later, she was one of the winners in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. It was just one step further for her to win the approbation of audiences all over the world. In the past few years Robert Gambarini has played in clubs from Moscow to Monterey, from Brazil to Japan and in most of the European countries. Her collaborations are wide-ranging, including sessions with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Michael Brecker, a partnership with the Dizzy
Gillespie All Stars Big Band, the Dutch Concertgebouw Jazz Orchestra and the NDR Big Band, Hamburg. What are the qualities of this jazz lady, who casts such a spell over audiences wherever she performs?
?I approach all of the tunes I sing in terms of what they mean to me in lyric and story?, says Gambarini, who discovers
something connected to her life in every one of them. To achieve her goal, she commits herself to the ?vocalese?
tradition of putting lyrics to instrumental solos, adding new colours to standard tunes Gambarini chooses her r?le models with care. Benny Carter takes pride of place in her estimation ? and it was a case of mutual admiration. The saxophonist, who passed away in 2003, held his young colleague in such high esteem that he made his compositions especially available for her. Gambarini was his student for the last three years of his life. Furthermore, she loves Dizzy Gillespie because of his permanent ?search for musical freedom? and his unique understanding of the functions of a jazz group. And Gambarini also salutes Thelonious Monk, whose music, she says, ?was always fundamental in my life.? Billy Strayhorn and Jon Hendricks are other sources of inspiration. With Easy To Love Roberta pays tribute to all these giants, at the same time enriching their compositions with a new language. She is backed by two rhythm sections, consisting of bass players John Clayton and Chuck Berghofer, drummers Willie Jones III and Joe La Barbera and pianists Tamir Hendelman and Gerald Clayton. Saxophonist James Moody guests on two numbers and even contributes some inspired scatting. This album is a real masterpiece that was recorded live on tape over two afternoons in L. A. Just a few observations will suffice to establish the quality of this musical rendez-vous. With On The Sunny Side Of The Street, Gambarini brilliantly reworks the Gillespie composition Sonny Side Up, reprising the original solos of Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins with brand new lyrics, and capturing, unerringly and full of esprit, the high tones of Dizzy?s trumpet. In Centerpiece, she enters into a dialogue with Moody?s saxophone, then he embarks on a spontaneous scatting adventure with his partner. Their teamwork in the erotic Lover Man works just as magnificently. With Multi-Colored Blue, she roams effortlessly up and down the bluesy scale and in Monk?s Prayer / Looking Back, she succeeds in offering a magical and intimate finale for Thelonious. And, as you?ll note, Roberta has included a medley which, appropriately, features the evergreen which inspired her parents in choosing a name for their daughter ? and it proved to be a tremendous selffulfilling prophecy.

 | Audio-CD / 17.50 € | 

> Easy To Love <
IOR CD 77084-2

Click on "Play" to listen!
 Easy To Love
 Only Trust Your Heart
 Lover Man
 On The Sunny Side Of The Street
 Porgy, I's Your Woman Now / I Loves You, Porgy
 Lover Come Back To Me
 The Two Lonely People
 Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
 No More Blues
 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes / All The Things You Are
 Too Late Now
 Multi-Colored Blue
 Monk's Prayer / Looking Back

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