Saturday, September 03, 2011

Ginia Sicilia In Full Control

I was familiar with vocalist Gina Sicilia from a prior recording of hers, Allow Me To Confess. Her latest recording is Can't Control Myself (VizzTone). The disc is produced and engineered by Dave Gross, who played every instrumental track except for trumpet, sax and one lap-steel track. Despite the heavy use of overdubbing, the performances have a loose, lively feel and Gross displays considerable chops, marked by intensity as well as restraint.

Seven of the tracks are originals rooted in blues and R&B with some other touches along with covers of songs from Little Walter (Can't Hold Out Much Longer based on Ike and Turner's retitled cover, Crazy 'Bout You Baby), Bobby Bland (Members Only) and Stevie Wonder (a lively Place in the Sun). Her vocals have an edge (occasionally she can grate, but not on this disc). On the opening Addicted she projects strongly, as she sings about needing another drink. Before the Night is Through is a Sicilia original that might be mistaken as an old Drifters number done to a reggae groove (with nice acoustic guitar fills and gypsy jazz licks in Gross’ solo) with quite a lovely vocal.

There is variety in the material, but one constant is Sicilia's vocals that are full of feeling and personality. Listening to this had me return to her earlier recording where she did a nice cover of Big Maybelle's That's a Pretty Good Love. Nice production, songs and vocals that show that as a performer, Gina Sicilia definitely is in control of herself.

I purchased this as a download.

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