How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Although Italian singer/lyricist Cinzia Spata has been singing professionally for over 20 years, her discography is pretty sparse. Into The moment is only her third album, and appears six years after 93 03 (Azzurramusic, 2005). The wait's been worth it: the album is a stylish mix of American Songbook classics and lesser-known tunes from some of jazz's most intriguing composers, plus one Spata original, the extraordinary "Carlos."
The quintet of backing musicians is top quality, an experienced and talented group of players who support the singer with understated grace but also stretch out on some imaginative and compelling solos. Dave Clark
's "Questar" Spata scats with invention and restraint, her melodic approach adding to this lovely tune's emotional impact, as do Barth, Cervenka and Clark's beautifully considered solos. Spata's voice is light and inviting on Charles Mingus
"Carlos" is a spiky, funky, tune with a stunning wordless vocal. Clark and Israel are the key figures, laying down a solid groove over which Spata swoops and flies, her voice telling a story even without a lyric. At the midway point she moves from a light-hearted scat to an extraordinarily tense and piercing wail and then a jagged staccato phraseclose, perhaps, to the territory usually inhabited by Norma Winstone
or Julie Tippetts. It's an imaginative, bravura, performance.
Spata is a vocalist who can swing, scat or sing a ballad with style and enthusiasm. What gives her a fascinating edge is her willingness to explore a type of jazz tune that doesn't usually come into the vision of jazz singers, and to do so with great success. With the backing of a superb quartet, Into The Moment is a strong and accessible artistic statement.
Track Listing: Questar; My Favourite Things; Falling Grace; The Glide; The Widow In The Window; Soul Eyes; Carlos; Duke Ellington's Sound Of Love; Tea For Two; Very Early; East of the Sun (West of the Moon).
Personnel: Cinzia Spata: vocals; Ken Cervenka: trumpet, flugelhorn; George Garzone: tenor sax; Bruce Barth: piano; Dave Clark: bass: Yoron Israel: drums.