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Carmen Marsico: Sogno

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Bearing the same title as the album of a few seasons past — Sogno, by the popular Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli—this is Carmen Marsico's jazz vocal debut. In order to pursue her musical goals, Marsico moved to New York and then Boston from her native Italy and enrolled in the Berklee School of Music. She appeared on two tracks of guitarist Bjorn Wennas' Early Summer Sketch.

Marsico's choice of material shows a good sense of balance mixing standards with known jazz compositions and two originals. The accompanying group, a guitar plus rhythm section combo, sounds well oiled and crisp, but I have to object to the choice of keyboardist Yonezawa's use of Fender Rhodes throughout, making the session sound very '70s or '80s. The aforementioned Wennas is the apparent leader here, getting off articulate solos.

Marsico's voice is pleasant and well adapted to the jazz sensibility with a faint trace of an accent. She acquits herself well on the two standards, "All or Nothing at All" and "Just One of Those Things," both fairly tired choices on which she scats effectively. A Jobim tune, "Chovendo na Roseira," is handled nicely. On the originals, "Tensions" and "Over Me," Marsico employs a vocalese technique which doesn't really add to the tunes. Her best moments come on the three jazz standards. Monk's "Pannonica" features a little-heard Jon Hendricks lyric. Did he write that for Carmen McRae's Monk tribute? On the Horace Silver ballad "Lonely Woman," Marsico sings the compelling Lorraine Feather lyrics; and the concluding piece, Charlie Parker "Confirmation," features non-Eddie Jefferson lyrics that I'm unfamiliar with.

All in all, a pleasant vocal jazz entry and we look forward to the next undertaking.


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