453

Roberta Gambarini: You Are There

By

Sign in to view read count
Roberta Gambarini: You Are There Grammy-nominated vocalist Roberta Gambarini has been working with pianist Hank Jones since 2001, when the pair first met and performed together at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho. Since then she's toured the world with Jones and his sidemen, George Mraz on bass and Willie Jones III on drums.



Live performance on the road and in concert was the only preparation Gambarini and Jones used in recording their first album together as a duo, You Are There. According to Gambarini, they merely met up at Nola Studios one afternoon in 2005 and proceeded to record 17 of their favorite tunes. The new album includes 14 of them, most committed to digital bits in just one take.

In keeping with the impromptu nature of the recording, Gambarini turns out a casual performance—but one that is also precise and nuanced, as only an expert singer and a closely attuned pianist can accomplish. The two obviously enjoy working together and their personal affinity adumbrates their musical bond: Gambarini laughs delightedly at times and at others Jones murmurs imperceptibly to Gambarini over his solos. Their dialogue is one between co-creators—no one leads and no one follows.

The tracks explore various melodic permutations of standards by the likes of Duke Ellington, Benny Carter, Billy Strayhorn, Irving Berlin and E.Y. Harburg—the intent, it seems, being to extract as much beauty from the line as possible. Gambarini displays an aptitude for bebop scatting unusual in singers of her generation, especially on "When The Lights Are Low" and "Just Squeeze Me," during which she and Jones swap brief and inspired musical anecdotes.



Beyond melodic interpretation, the pair apply great restraint to the tempi; even on tunes like "You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me," more commonly played at a steady clip, Gambarini lays back into the cheerful lyrics while Jones expands leisurely on the melody.

This CD promises to be one of the better vocal releases of 2008. Beyond Gambarini's impressive vocals, listeners are advised to pay close attention to Jones' intuitive understanding of phrasing and dynamics. Also, make sure to read Gambarini's liner notes, which reveal the warm and thoughtful person behind the bright talent.

Track Listing: You Are There; I'll Be Tired Of You; People Time; When Lights Are Low; Deep Purple; Reminiscing; Suppertime; Just Squeeze Me; Something To Live For; Stardust; Lush Life; You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me; Come Sunday; How Are Things In Glocca Morra?.

Personnel: Roberta Gambarini: vocals; Hank Jones: piano.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Decca Music Group | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Like, Strange CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Coalesce CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Il sistema periodico CD/LP/Track Review Il sistema periodico
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Code Noir CD/LP/Track Review Code Noir
by James Nadal
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Metamorphosis" CD/LP/Track Review Metamorphosis
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "End Of Seas" CD/LP/Track Review End Of Seas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 5, 2016
Read "Upward Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Upward Spiral
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 19, 2016
Read "Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian Microjam!" CD/LP/Track Review Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian Microjam!
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Seven Storey Mountain V" CD/LP/Track Review Seven Storey Mountain V
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "1954" CD/LP/Track Review 1954
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!