Chuck Vecoli, Jazz Review

Chuck Vecoli,

When I load a jazz vocal CD to listen to, I am looking for a CD that alters my mood; something to put me in a better state of mind, to soothe my soul. I look forward to a voice that is an instrument in and of itself, that blends with the accompaniment and yet stands out as the lead, the solo, the point of the CD. A Song of Love’s Color, the latest CD by Gabriele Tranchina did more than alter my mood, it was transcendent! Her voice is so pleasurable to listen to that it was entertaining from the first note! Gabriele possesses that rare gift of control of her instrument, and a capacity to express her jazz in a multi-lingual way that defines a performer as a world music proponent. Her handling of the compositions and especially the arrangements of her husband, Joe Vincent Tranchina, appeared effortless, and at the same time ageless.

The opening track, “Chante Comme Si Tu Devais Mourir Demain (sing as if you were to die tomorrow),” gives you the first clue that this is going to be a well-executed CD, both musically and vocally.

The title track had a Tania Maria sound to it. “A Song of Love’s Color,” written and arranged by Joe Vincent, has a contemporary sound to it, fluid and engaging. Joe’s piano work on this tune is blended with the rhythm section to carry forth the them of color. But the brightness and the true color comes from Gabriele’s voice. A pleasant combination of tempo and tones, with plenty of dynamic interplay between the musicians and the singer.

Gabriele shows her classic Latin jazz knowledge and command of language taking on Jobim’s “Samba De Uma Nota So.” Gabriele’s treatment of “One Note Samba” is different to say the least with her almost rap-like treatment of the vocal in the middle of the song. But overall her treatment is in the classic vein. And the band is tight throughout the delviery. Debriano, Thoms and Sanabria deliver the Latin groove that define this song, while Joe comps for his wife leaving plenty of room for her to express the fun of this song.

“Today” opens with a beautiful solo by Joe Vincent Tranchina. His composition is tender and soulful. Then out of the quiet emerges Gabriele, as the tempo and rhythm change, she adds her wonderful voice to the piece. The lyrics “and I know, a song I’ll be singing, a sweet melody of love upon my lips” says it all!

My personal favorite was Joe Vincent’s original composition, “Sing A Song Of Children.” Gabriele delivers this song with such sensitivity and tenderness, you hear the love that went into this composition. It is a hopeful and uplifting song, sung with joy and belief in the message. A song that carries a message for all children, young and old!

On “Inutil Paisagem,” Gabriele further demonstrates a command of the songbook of Jobim. It is another well executed piece. “Asato Maa (Sat Chit Ananda),” Tranchina puts this traditional Hindu prayer & chant to his music and Gabriele adds the spirit to the composition. An expressive piece that achieves its reverent state, without giving up the entertaining quality of the song. I especially enjoyed Debriano’s bass solo in this cut.

“Duermete Nino Bonito,” a traditional Spanish lullaby with English language and additional music provided by Joe Vincent stays with the theme of the CD and treats an international piece with the attention to its origins and yet makes it universally acceptable with the vocal treatment of Gabriele. Her rendering of the final bars are so passionate, they sound as if she was singing to her own loved one.

“Voz” is a playful piece by Joe Vincent. Gabriele plays along with the band to express this bouncing latin influenced piece. Debriano adds another bass solo worth paying attention to.

The first 1:30 of “Solamente Pasion” are a piano solo that is notable in itself, but when it takes on its groove, the piano solo is lost in the rhythmic groove laid down by the percussionists. The latin vocals covering the lyrics of Thoms and Sanabria provide a background for Gabriele to show yet another dimension of her Latin Jazz talent.

And just when you think you have heard the full range of Gabriele’s sensitivity when treating the lyrics in whatever language she sings, along comes “Seihst Du Mich,” a beautiful German poem put to music by Joe Vincent. The richness of Gabriele’s voice over the loving lyrics mingled with a soulful bass being bowed by Debriano all lead up to another one of Joe Vincent’s incredibly sensitive solos. This piece is a great way to close out what I find to be a totally entertaining CD.

Gabriele’s voice, stylings and multi-lingual command of jazz and the ballad are to be appreciated. A Song of Love’s Color is a brilliant presentation of a world of jazz and ballads capably delivered by a worldly voice and global talent that is worthy of attention. Gabriele Tranchina delivers a notable set of songs on this release and is entertaining from the first note until the last.