Rickard B Karmins, Step Tempest Blog

Step Tempest – Music that engages the soul

This German-born vocalist has really pushed herself on this, her second release under her own name. With a band led by her accomplished pianist/composer husband Joe Vincent Trachina and co-producer/drummer Bobby Sanabria, this program features 11 tracks with songs sung in 6 different languages. Sanabria drives the band hard on the opening “Chante Comme Si Tu Devais Mourir Demain”, imbuing the piece with a Brazilian “parade” feel. He, then, really shines on Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Samba De Uma Nota So”, setting a breath-taking pace. Yet, Sanabria can be calm and colorful as he displays on the other Jobim work, “Inutil Paisagem” which also serves as a spotlight for the smooth, cool, tones of bassist Santi Debriano.

Among the highlights is the inventive “Asato Maa (Sat Chit Ananda)”, a Hindu prayer and chant atop Latin rhythms and featuring a “rap” section in English. There are several pretty ballads throughout the program, including the traditional Spanish folk song “Duermete Nono Bonito” and the sweet “Sing a Song of Children.” German poet Else Lasker-Schuler (1869-1945) is the basis for a lovely melody (by Mr. Tranchina) – “Siehst Du Mich” is a love song sung in Ms. Tranchina’s native tongue, a quiet and serene close to the CD.

Gabriele Tranchina has a fine, clear,voice, is articulate and knows how to put a lyric over and how to work with a band, whether it’s swinging hard or cooing a ballad. The sheer variety of her material is certainly a point in her favor (although it might drive radio programmers crazy.) Kudos to the fine rhythm section (percussionist Renato Thoms works well alongside Sanabria and Debriani) and the handsome piano contributions of Joe Vincent Tranchina. To find out more, go to www.sollatimusic.com.