Cathy Gruenfelder, Jazz Inside

JINYcoverA SONG OF LOVE’S COLOR – Jazzheads JH1176.

Chante Comme Si Tu Devais Mourir Demain; A Song of Lo”e’s Color; Samba De Uma Nota So; Today; Sing A Song of Children; Inutil Paisagem; Asato Maa (Sat Chit Ananda); Duermete Nino Bonito; Voz; Solamente Pasion; Siehst Du Mich

PERSONNEL: Gabriele Tranchina, vocals; Joe Vincent Tranchina, piano, background vocals; Santi Debriano, bass; Renato “oms, percussion, background vocals; Bobby Sanabria, drums, percussion, background vocals; Roberto Sanabria, background vocals

A Song of Love’s Color shows the listener that it is a color that comes in many different shades and variations. Gabriele Tranchina’s latest album brings together sounds from all over the world, and it is not to be novel in any way – it is the natural result of the life experience of a woman who is a true citizen of the world. She was born in Germany, and traveled extensively through Europe and Asia, before settling in New York. This album is the culmination of a lifetime of study, experience, exploration and experimentation,” says Jeanie Loverti in the liner notes. You will hear her singing in Portuguese, German, English, Spanish, French and Hindi over the course of this eleven song album. Joining her is a band of world-class musicians that includes Bobby Sanabria on drums and percussion, pianist Joe Vincent Tranchina (her husband) who wrote much of the lyrics and music, Santi Debriano on bass and percussionist Renato Thoms.

Of the eleven songs, seven are originals, mostly from her husband, or co-written within the band, and the four others are Jobim’s “Samba De Uma Nota So” and “Inutil Paisagem,” a French song entitled “Chante Comme Si Tu Devais Mourir Demain,” and a traditional Spanish lullaby called “Duermete Nino Bonito.”

From the opening measures, you will want to get up and dance as she sings the lilting French melody of “Chante Comme Si Tu Devais Mourir Demain” over a Latin arrangement powered by Sanabria’s drums and “oms percussion. “e title track, “A Song of Love’s Color,” is hard to categorize. It sets a mood of mystery and magic with its Eastern modal and bowed bass that sits on a single note for most of the song. Tranchina’s poetic lyrics end with this – “Knowing that all, life is as one, Rainbow of love, each as the sun.”

“Samba de Uma Nota So” brings us to Brazil and the energy is overflowing. Suddenly Tranchina begins rapping the lyrics with Sanabria playing a drum solo behind her while the rest of the band lays out.

“Today” is quite an exposé of the talents of J.V Tranchina. He begins with an aching piano introduction setting a sad tone that is soon dissolved as the day begins, and he is with his love, as the story tells. the arrangement alternates between a Latin feel and a deep swing – the contrast is very powerful.

“Inutil Paisagem” breaks up the excitement with a more respective intensity, showing the emotional breadth of Tranchina’s singing. The fact that the listener can be touched without understanding the lyrics is the sign of a singer’s depth.

From a rhythmic standpoint, the traditional Hindi style “Asato Maa” is sure to satisfy. It begins with a polyrhythmic introduction before developing into a smooth and grooving trance like feel. Tranchina’s voice is given some delay/echo e!ects, and it adds to the atmospheric quality. Debriano takes an exciting bass solo leading into a spoken word prayer from Gabriele that invokes “Om” and “perfect peace”. “is gives way to an exciting ending with multiple voices, improvisational yelling and vocal e!ects high in Tranchina’s range, as the intensity builds and builds.

“Solamente Pasion” stands alone on the disc, and it is one of the most memorable tracks. It begins with a gorgeous rubato improvisation from J.V Tranchina before the Latin percussion of Sanabria and Thoms comes in full force like a well oiled machine. You will immediately start swaying. “is is as good as it gets. All of the men provide the background vocals that fit perfectly into the arrangement. A couple of minutes in, Tranchina begins a call and response with the male singers.

“The final song is delivered in German, Tranchina’s native language – “Sienst Du Mich.” She sounds much more airy and vulnerable on this track then the others. It is a ballad that features a beautiful melody and arrangement from her husband while the lyrics are a poem by Else Lasker-Schuler. Unlike the other tracks, the music is very minimal behind Tranchina. J.V. o!ers very impressionistic and spacious comping, and Sanabria’s drumming is little more than a metronome with some nice rhythmic coloring here and there for e!ect. J.V. Tranchina’s solo is simply magical.

A Song of Love’s Color is quite a gathering of sounds and talents. Whatever language Gabriele sings in, or whatever genre, her style and sound are consistent, and she is always beautiful, deep, compelling and genuine. The same goes for the band – although they seem to be most at home in the Latin arena, their rhythmic acumen can be infused into music of any style, whether it be Indian folk songs, swing, or Brazilian Samba.