Lucy Galliher, Nitelifeexchange.com

Lucy Galliher, Gabriele Tranchina's CD Release Party at Feinstein's

Chanteuse Gabriele Tranchina celebrated her CD, A Song of Love’s Color, at Feinstein’s on June 13, 2010. With her in the band were Joe Tranchina, pianist and composer, Santi Debriano, bass, Renato Thoms, percussion and Grammy-award-winner Bobby Sanabria, drums. Gabriele came onstage in the same bright red dress that she wore on the cover of her CD, and had a sparkle in her eyes as she sang the opening number in French, “Chante Comme Si Tu Devais Mourir Demain,” (“Sing as if you would die tomorrow”). Although she is German-born, Gabriele has no trouble singing in a variety of languages; hence, this music might be categorized as “World Music,” although it is heavily influence by a Latin beat.

Gabriele’s husband, Joe Tranchina, wrote and arranged most of the music, including the title cut of the CD, “A Song of Love’s Color.” This is a pleasing-sounding bossa-nova, with heavy percussion and soulful bass. I felt there was good chemistry amongst the musicians ¡V there was no need for Joe to do much directing, and he was able to focus on playing some beautiful lines on the piano.

The arrangement of Jobim’s “Samba De Uma nota So” (“One Note Samba”) allowed the percussionists to stretch out their solos, while Gabriele sang the tune in half-time ¡V this is an interesting concept, as it made the song seem slow, even though the drumbeats filled the air.

Another Jobim composition, “Inutil Paisagem” (“If You Never Come to Me”), was a perfect feature for Gabriele’s voice, as she was able to evoke that beautiful clean tone that is unique to Brazilian singing. Santi added some soulful low notes on his 5-string bass, and proceeded to play an amazing virtuosic solo that elicited a big applause. Joe showed his own talent at the piano during the extended tag at the end.

They did several novelty numbers, “Sing a Song of Children,” which kids actually might enjoy and “Asato Maa (Sat Chit Ananda),” a poly-rhythmic, poly-continental yoga chant tribute. Gabriele not only sang on this one, but also scatted, rapped and made percussion-like sounds with her voice.

The climax of the evening was the tune “Solamente Pasion” (“Only Passion”), written by Joe and Bobby, with lyrics by Renato. With the stage lights decreased to a low blue, Joe began an intro on piano in a soft but serious manner. Dramatically, the lights went up and the tune progressed into a rousing mambo. It was fun to watch the call and response vocalizing between Gabriele, Bobby and Renato.

“Siehst Du Mich,” a German love poem was the encore, a fitting ending to a great show. Gabriele Tranchina has done well with her first CD. Let’s look forward to hearing more from her in the near future.