Customer Reviews: Easy To Love
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Roberta Gambarini once quoted..."I am concentrating to a standard repertoire because people relate to it more in America, more original material will come later on."...As a teenager, when her peers were listening to American and Italian pop, she was checking out her dad's jazz record collection. She got hooked on the music and has developed a captivating, confident voice as she has matured into a serious artist..."The most important thing for me now, even more than style, is to establish a connection with the audience."...Roberta now puts her own spin on jazz chestnuts, works from the "Great American Songbook", and waits for the recording industry to notice how well she does it with her singular approach...Roberta Gambarini has an instrumental approach and possesses a warm timbre, impeccable timing and intonation, incredible technique and scatting and improvisation skills.

Born in Torino, Italy from a family where jazz was much loved and appreciated, she began listening to this music as a child...started performing while still in her teens, touring jazz clubs in northern Italy...Since 1985 she has played the most important festivals and venues in her country as well as many of the renowned international jazz festivals...Gambarini's been recording since 1986 both under her name and as a featured singer with most Italian musicians. In 1998 she moved to the United States with a scholarship from the New England Conservatory in Boston. In the same year she won third price at the International Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition.

Appearing with Roberta on this album as backup Chuck Berghofer (Bass), John Clayton (Bass), Gerald Clayton (Piano), Joe La Barbera (Drums), Willie Jones III (Drums), James Moody Sextet (Tenor Saxophone, Vocals), Tamir Hendelman (Piano)...with outstanding arrangements by Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Strayhorn, Roberta Gambarini, Tamir Hendelman...Gambarini is now performing under her own name...just stand back and take in her warm and dusky timbre, with which she can scat well-known solos remarkably subtly.

As Michael Brecker stated "Finally a singer whom musicians have long known is one of the greats, Roberta's recording debut is breathtaking"...a quote from Kevin Lowenthal of the Boston Globe "Gambarini is a true successor to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae"...take a listen and see if you don't agree --- outstanding vocals and jazz arrangements on her latest release from Koch is "Easy To Love", and my friend this album is just that!

Total Time: 77 mins ~ Now Forward Inc 1122 ~ (6/06/2006)
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on July 28, 2006
Those fortunate to have seen Roberta Gambarini perform have waited a long time for this release. I, for one, am thrilled with the outcome. Her song selection hints at her command of the American Songbook. The band(s) provides sophisticated support. The sound is clean and solid. Roberta's voice is rich, smooth, and faultless through her extensive range. Her pitch is spot on, her phrasing opens up the songs, and her time just swings.

Having placed 3rd behind Jane Monheit and Teri Thornton in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition in 1998, she went on to win the jazz hearts and minds of musicians and jazz lovers at festivals and clubs across the U.S. - but contract issues in her native Italy prevented a U.S. release. With those issues resolved, and with the release of "Easy to Love", Roberta Gambarini will finally be heard by the audience she deserves.
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on September 16, 2006
FINALLY ! ! ! A femalel vocalist who REALLY is in the same league as Ella, Sarah and the few other greats who ever walked the earth. Not only is she the BEST female vocalist to come along in DECADES, this album is PERFECT. Besides her absolutely perfect singing, phrasing, intonation and style etc., you also get a group of SUPERB musicians backing her up and playing exactly what is called for. You ALSO get JAMES MOODY on tenor sax and vocals on two of the tracks. ALSO, for you out there who want to know how good that high end equiptment you might own can sound, the recording quality of this CD is absolutely perfect. Recorded and mixed by Al Schmitt. This guy should get an award. Every time I play this CD it's hard to convince myself that it isn't live in my living room. So many great CD's suffer from really lousy recording quality. This is a great CD to see how good vocals sound on that high end gear. All I can say is, being a jazz and female vocalist fanatic, FINALLY someone up there in the ranks with Ella and all the other greats finally appears. And on her DEBUT CD ! ! ! I can't wait for Roberta Gambarini to do another CD. I've never been this excited about a new artist. This is a MUST HAVE ! ! ! I never had much faith in the Grammy Awards, we all know they go to those who sell the most CD's, but if SHE doesn't get a Grammy for this CD, then that is PROOF that the Grammy's are a farce. BUY IT.
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on September 25, 2006
At last, a singer to become excited about. With a voice with the clarity and range of Sarah Vaughan, Roberta tackles a series of well known and not so well known standards. The girl can swing, scat and capture your heart with her interpretations. She takes her time and makes use of her impressive voice and makes great use of space and pacing.

On the ballads, she leaves you breathless. I first heard her version of "Two Lonely People" on the radio one morning and she held me transfixed. Like Sarah Vaughan, she has a top and bottom to her range and she makes use of both, well.

On the up pieces she swings. She has a real feel for jazz. She never comes off as a popular standards singer that has a feel for jazz, but as a real bonafide jazz singer. She is adventurous and authentic.

On pieces like "Lover Man" and "I Loves You Porgy", she effectively conveys a tenderness and emotional connection with the piece while wrapping that voice around the notes.

I highly recommend this recording and singer. An outstanding debut and amazing singer.
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In a landmark CD, more than seventy-seven gorgeous minutes long, Roberta Gambarini makes a breath-taking debut that should propel her to the top of the jazz world at a very young age. With her warm, full, alto voice and a deliberately understated accompaniment, often just a bass and piano, Gambarini does it all, from a capella intros in songs like "Easy to Love" (one of the best on the CD), to blues (in "Multi-Colored Blue," another standout), and lots of scat in "Lover Come Back to Me," which also features a terrific drum solo by Joe La Barbera. In "Centerpiece" she even duets with growly-voiced James Moody, the tenor sax player here, whose bass voice sets off her clear alto as she soars into soprano range.

Through out this terrific CD, Gambarini shows total control, suggesting, on many occasions, the work, of a very young Sarah Vaughan. Her diction, in which you can hear her T's and R's very clearly, and her often interesting phrasing, which enable her to convey a thought beyond the usual line length, sometimes at considerable speed, keep the listener intrigued on a level beyond sound. This is not to underestimate her gorgeous sound, but to point out that her technique enhances it in ways many other singers can only dream of.

I have listened to this CD so often, with so much pleasure, finding new things to like on each hearing, that it is difficult to choose a favorite track, but certainly "On the Sunny Side of the Street," not normally a song I like, would have to rank right up there. Here she plays with high notes and then plunges almost to bass range, using a great deal of scat, accompanied by bass (Chuck Berghofer) and wailing sax (James Moody), until she is vamping at the end of the song. "Multi-Colored Blue" is another great one, her scat set off by the bass and piano (Tamir Hendelman).

Very much in the tradition of the great women of jazz of the '50s through the '70s, Gambarini adds a personal touch and a young energy to many standards, creating her own sound and, undoubtedly, a jazz reputation among young singers. Sometimes so inspired by the instrumental melodies that she creates her own lyrics to accompany them, Gambarini does it all here. I cannot recommend a CD by a young singer more highly! n Mary Whipple

You Are There
16 Men and a Chick Singer Swingin'
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on June 13, 2006
Having heard Ms Gambarini live her new record confirms her talent,respect for the music, understanding of jazz and demonstrates the high regard in which she is held by all or our jazz icons: H.Jones, J.Moody, C.Terry and more. I believe she is the best girl jazz singer today. This CD shows it all.

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on May 23, 2007
Ms. Gambarini is a great singer but she is not an original stylist.

She is pianist Hank Jones' protegè and he says she is the best voice in more than 60 years. He said it in an European festival during one of their performances. And it is clearly recorded. It is quite risky of an affirmation, concerning to all the big songbird stars who have counted on Mr. Jones' efforts, from Anita O'Day and Nancy Wilson to Abbey Lincoln.

What upsets me is the undeniable similarity to Carmen McRae's way of doing the thing. It is more than impressive. Her phrase is McRae's. Her attack is McRae's. Her scat approach is McRae's.

Happens that I love McRae. Mcrae was a master.

Repertoire is a well choice, a collection of standards and jazz gems with many creative improvisation approaches. This includes a smart version of Cole Porter's 'Easy To Love'.

From 0 to 5, I chose 4 but I don't know whether under McRae's influence or not. Would you please help me?
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on June 26, 2006
On my opinion, this is the best vocal cd put out in the market in the last two-three years. I have thousands vocal jazz records and I'm usually pretty sober in my reviews, but I can do anything but rave about this delicious italian lady and what she manages to do with old favourites . It's not only a question of technical skill (which is superb, give an ear to her version of "On the sunny side of the street" and you'll be swallowed by a giant wave of original, pure and tasty scat and tone variations), Roberta has got it all: style, pitch, coolness, depth, versatility, soul. Every song is a jewel, every reading of old standards is new, the band is faboulous (James Moody still has got the right pipes and makes two brilliant appearances in Lover man and Centerpiece).

Being italian, I'm terribly proud of Roberta's job: this is pure jazz at the highest possible level, don't miss the vocal jazz record of the year. Brava Roberta, compliemnti vivissimi!!
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on March 12, 2007
This album is, quite simply, fabulous in all regards. Gambarini has amazing pitch and timing, and she sings with freshness and emotion. Her singing on "Sunny Side of the Street" is, in particular, just jaw-dropping. The accompanying musicians play delicately, and they fully respect that Gambarini is, and should be, the star here. Bravo!
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on May 22, 2007
If you love Ella and Sarah, etc., and miss them, you will love this album and load it on your mp3 player and relish it often. I give it an A+. Excellent accompanying musicians as well.
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