If you’re looking for a comfortable, classy, and hot new jazz space, Enzo’s Jazz is the place to be and be seen. One never knows who might show up to catch Enzo’s trios and quartets, presented at the Eastside Jolly Madison Hotel, conveniently located in midtown Manhattan. Look for the Whaler Bar in the lobby and listen for the music. Tonight I caught Gabriele Tranchina on vocals, accompanied by Joe Vincent Tranchina on piano, Santi Debriano on bass, Bobby Sanabria on drums, and Renato Thoms on percussion. I was rewarded with dynamic songs, fresh and versatile, and encores were required. The band opened on its own, with Joe Vincent Tranchina on the Yamaha, leading his own composition, “Sand”, with poignant rhythms enhanced by Bobby Sanabria’s polished drums and Renato Thoms’ Latin congas. Santi Debriano, on bass, was much more than background, as he played solos with confidence and buoyancy.
This was not just great performance music, but also great listening music, with mesmerizing clavé, as Bobby Sanabria added sticks to the cymbals with exotic effects. Sanabria is a musician’s musician. “A Space Folk Song” followed, with Santi Debriano’s elegant bass bow and Gabriele was now on stage. Gabriele extended each vowel with pure passion. “Sweet Dreams” brought out quintessentially fused percussion with Latin shakers and Gabriele’s magically moving vocals, intertwined with her band. “Chante La Vie Chante”, sung in French, was a clear Brazilian Samba, with Santi picking up his bass guitar. Gabriele and her quintet brought us to Carnivale, as Renato took his tambourine, and Gabriele danced about the stage, in clear delight.
Gabriele Tranchina is a German-born, Parisian chanteuse, with Brazilian stylings, a cross between Ute Lemper, Mireille Mathieu, and Tania Maria. “Estate”, sung in Italian, was a tribute to Enzo Capua, the Italian born jazz presenter, bi-weekly, at the Jolly Madison Towers. Santi played a richly textured bass solo, deepening the theme, and Gabriele added her European sophistication to each phrase. Joe Vincent Tranchina composed “Vos”, and this very persuasive work came to life with his expertise on the Yamaha. Joe has seamless phrasing and unique ornamentations, and his compositions are as impressive as his performance. A Mambo motif ensued, with a long, percussive solo, and Gabriele held forth with extended scat vocals, as this was Joe’s intention. “Sometimes I’m Happy” was introduced with an endless, exciting percussive duet, as Bobby and Renato held forth on drums and congas. This electric and Latin-infused piece brought Enzo’s fans to their feet, swaying and clapping. The Brazilian styled encore was a study in percussive power, as Renato and Bobby highlighted its potential. You can check the weekly schedule for Enzo’s Jazz at Enzo’s Jazz Website.
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