European-raised New York-based Gabriele Tranchina brings love of our multi-cultural and interconnected world, a distinct musical sensibility and a multilingual talent to center stage on her new release, “A Song Of Love’s Color” (Jazzheads). At a relatively early age she was introduced to the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Chick Corea’s “Return to Forever” with singer Flora Purim, as well as Ella Fitzgerald, music which left a deep imprint on her and reflected in her music today. On “A Song Of Love’s Color,” she performs 11 songs in six languages and vocalise, which her publicity materials describe as a mix of lead and harmonized vocals, RAP, recitation, chant and descant, and backed by a band that includes her husband, Joe Vincent Tranchina, on piano and backing vocals; Santi Debriano on bass; Renato Thoms on percussion and backing vocals; Bobby Sanabria on drums, percussion and backing vocals; and Roberta Sanabria on backing vocals.
She has such a delightful voice as evident from the opening “Chante Comme Si Tu Devais Mourir Demain,” matched to the lively Brazilian rhythms which explode towards the performances finish. Her husband contributed the lovely latin-spiced title song about rainbows. “Samba De Uma Nota So,” (“One Note Samba”) is one of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s most famous songs which she delivers with seeming effortless delivery but her pitch and her sense of timing is flawless including an interlude with a spoken rap-like delivery over smoldering percussion. The ballad “Today,” opens languidly to match the opening lyrics about sad reminiscences before the tempo livens up as someone catches her eye. “Sing a Song Of Children,” is a thoughtful celebration about the songs, laughter and joy of childhood, that stands out even in this strong release. Another Jobim song, “Inutil Paisagem,” has a lovely, languid vocal with a solid bass interlude from Debriano.
An indication of the varied material her is her Husband’s adaptation of a Hindu prayer and chant, “Asato Maa (Sat Chit Ananda),” with a light latin rhythm as she sings about being led from untruth to truth and ignorance to wisdom.” “Duérmete Niño Bonito,” is an enchanting performance of a Spanish folk lullaby (that will sound familiar to some) to which Joe Vincent Tranchina has added English lyrics and music. “Voz,” is a mesmerizing, salsa-flavored wordless vocal with the percussion of Thomas and Sanabria standing out along with Jon Vincent’s firm, yet understated piano. Thomas, Sanabria and Joe Vincent collaborated on “Solamente Pasión,” with a crisp salsa flavor as she delivers a chorus of “El amor solamente pasión” (“Love is only passion”), against the rap of the band members before the closing “Siehst Du Mich,” a German poem set to music by Jon Vincent with a lovely arco bass solo.
“A Song Of Love’s Color” is a wonderful release that is sure to charm listeners with not only Gabriele Tranchina’s lovely voice, but her wonderful expressiveness and the tight playing in support of her. This is a recording that easily lends itself to repeated listening. Her website is http://www.gabrieletranchina.com/, from which it can be purchased. An earlier cd of hers is available on cdbaby.com so one might expect it to be available there. It is available on itunes and from amazon.com.
This review originally appeared in the July 2010 Jazz & Blues Report (issue 327) at page 8. A publicist provided the review copy.