153

Renzo Murrone: Out Of This World

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Renzo Murrone: Out Of This World Italian-born, London-based Renzo Murrone is a welcome addition to the list of male jazz vocalists, thanks to his beautiful debut, Out Of This World. It's a collection of original songs and covers that mixes styles and genres with great success; Murrone's vocal range is impressive and he has the crucial ability to connect emotionally with the mood of the songs.

Murrone's own compositions lean towards the smooth, soul-jazz end of the spectrum: pretty, melodic and romantic but not yet blessed with the distinctiveness they need to become standards. "Moonglade" is the most impressive, a silky, slow love song with some wonderfully economical but effective piano from Alex Stanford, although drummer Marius Rodrigues' use of cymbals is overpowering at times.

"Anda La Vida," co-written with Stanford, is more ambitious, the three-piece string section adding atmosphere, while Murrone's vocals have a more operatic edge than they do on most of the songs. "Higher" is a soulful blues with a laidback feel, which benefits from Stanford's fine keyboard solo.

It's Murrone's arrangements of standards that impress the most. Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight" is given a new feel, thanks to Murrone and Stanford's original arrangement, with Murrone's vocal moving elegantly between hushed romance and operatic drama—perhaps a little too dramatic—plus some scat.

Murrone sings Bruno Brighetti and Bruno Martino's "Estaté" in its original Italian, reveling in the richness of its lyrics. The strings appear again and are key to the arrangement's late-night, romantic feel. Rodrigues' brush work propels the tune, and Charlotte Glasson gives added sophistication on tenor sax. The traditional English folk song "Scarborough Fair" is given a soft and danceable reggae beat, with Rodrigues and excellent electric bassist Matheus Nova leading the way and Glasson contributing another warm tenor solo.

Tom Waits' "Invitation to the Blues" really swings. Waits has rapidly become one of the most popular songwriters with jazz singers, and Murrone's version of this great number is one of the finest jazz covers of a Waits song yet, which says much for Murrone's talent as an interpreter. The song begins with the scratchy sound of an old vinyl album, and then the band kicks in with its most inspired performance. Rodrigues uses brushes to deliver a shuffle beat, while Herbie Flowers— a stalwart of the British music scene responsible for the iconic bass line on Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side"—sets the pace with a funky line. Fulvio Sigurta intersperses some wailing trumpet melodies, while Stanford adds piano and keyboard with subtlety, as Murrone tops everything off with a fine vocal performance.

The musicians on Out Of This World are outstanding. The singer has brought together a band of great empathy and talent, while his technically strong and emotionally expressive voice should soon establish him on the scene. Out Of This World promises Murrone a bright future in jazz.

Track Listing: Round Midnight; Io Solo Il Vento; Out of this World; Anda La Vida; Invitation to the Blues; Moonglade; Estate; In Vino Veritas; Higher; Scarborough Fair.

Personnel: Renzo Murrone: vocals; Alex Stanford: piano, keyboard; Charlotte Glasson: flute, saxophone; Marius Rodrigues: drums; Herbie Flowers: double-bass (1, 4, 5, 6, 7); Matheus Nova: electric bass (2, 3, 8, 9, 10); Alfonse Esposito: cello (4, 7); Fulvio Sigurta: trumpet (3, 5); Callista Nurse: viola (4, 7); Nicola Smith: violin (4, 7).

Title: Out Of This World | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: 33 Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Unnatural  Events CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Clean CD/LP/Track Review Clean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2017
Read Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations CD/LP/Track Review Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "Reach" CD/LP/Track Review Reach
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)" CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Thick As Thieves" CD/LP/Track Review Thick As Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Down Memory Lane 2 / Down Memory Lane Vol. 3, The Power Package" CD/LP/Track Review Down Memory Lane 2 / Down Memory Lane Vol. 3, The Power...
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "From the Heart" CD/LP/Track Review From the Heart
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 20, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.