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Cinzia Spata: Into The Moment (2011)

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Cinzia Spata: Into The Moment 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 and Yoron Israel
Yoron Israel
Yoron Israel

drums
are at the core, with some terrific bass and drum work, respectively, while trumpeter Ken Cervenka and tenor saxophonist George Garzone
George Garzone
George Garzone
b.1950
sax, tenor
form a frontline that weaves in and out of Spata's vocals. Pianist Bruce Barth
Bruce Barth
Bruce Barth
b.1958
piano
moves effortlessly between rhythm section and lead playing.

Spata has worked with artists including Kenny Wheeler
Kenny Wheeler
Kenny Wheeler
1930 - 2014
trumpet
(whose "The Widow in the Window" appears here), Kurt Rosenwinkel
Kurt Rosenwinkel
Kurt Rosenwinkel
b.1970
guitar
and Danilo Rea
Danilo Rea
Danilo Rea

piano
. Many of the cover versions on this recording reflect this experience, drawn as they are from some unusual sources for vocal jazz. On Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
b.1945
piano
'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
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
1922 - 1979
bass, acoustic
' "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love," and Bill Evans
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
1929 - 1980
piano
' delightful "Very Early," perky and seductive on Ralph Towner
Ralph Towner
Ralph Towner
b.1940
guitar
's swinging "The Glide."

"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 phrase—close, perhaps, to the territory usually inhabited by Norma Winstone
Norma Winstone
Norma Winstone
b.1941
vocalist
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.

Record Label: Koine records


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