Some Press for Gabriele Tranchina
UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) — One more sign that New York City is opening up comes courtesy of the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District, which has a free program called Jazz Sensations at Dante Park.
The tiny park sits at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Broadway, between 63rd and 64th streets, directly opposite Lincoln Center.
Every Wednesday through August, there will be free lunchtime jazz performances starting at noon. If it’s raining at that time, then the music moves to midday on Friday.
It’s a chance to take a break in the middle of Manhattan under a canopy of mature trees. That’s pure delight for singer Gabriele Tranchina.
“We are connected to nature,” she said. “We are also connected to the people around us.”
It’s a connection that’s all the more valuable because we were without it for so long during the pandemic.
“When you finally get back to doing what you love, you’re bursting with energy, enthusiasm, and you just want to give even more than you did before,” saxophonist Eric Person said.
The two artists are paid to perform by the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District, but it’s played at no cost to all who pass by.
“We make the neighborhood clean, safe, beautiful, and fun,” the group’s president, Monica Blum, said. “And this is the fun part.”
I Love the Upper West Side Clip of Jazz Sensations at Dante Park
Lincoln Square BID’s “Summer Jazz Sensations” — a new series of free jazz music in Dante Park (64th and Broadway) — kicked off this week and will take place each Wednesday from noon—1:30 p.m. through August.
“The delightful midday music will encourage locals and visitors to celebrate the neighborhood, bringing people out into the district where they can grab lunch locally, shop, and see all that Lincoln Square has to offer.” This is the first series of concerts the BID has hosted since before the pandemic.
The July 6 kickoff featured the Gabriele Tranchina Band. Tranchina is a jazz singer whose music is peaceful and exhilarating at the same time. The texture of the music is transcendent and an emotional connection is Gabriele’s priority with every note she sings. Some call it Latin Jazz, others call it Brazilian Jazz, and still others World-Influenced jazz.
Watch the clip HERE:
View this post on Instagram
C. Michael Bailey
Gabriele Trancina Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes Rainchant Eclectic Records 2017 Polyglot would be an appropriate descriptor for a German-born, Parisian chanteuse, with Brazilian stylings, who is considered a cross between Ute Lemper and Tania Maria. This is what we have in Gabriele Tranchina, whose fourth release (and first since 2010), Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes, demonstrates the singer’s firm grasp across styles, genre, and, yes, languages. Joined by husband and pianist Joe Vincent Tranchina, who also provides the arrangements, and a fine rhythm section, Tranchina provides an even dozen Brazilian-Latin infused original and standard selections. She sings in French (“Je Crois Entendre Encore”), Portuguese (“Vera Cruz”), and German (“Ein Alter Tibetteppich”). Tranchina’s singing is seamless flowing from one language to the next making this recording very much a World music recording. The singer’s voice is singular and well-balanced, capable of low purrs and assertive exuberance. Refined and fine is Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes.
A confluence of rhythms rooted in samba, bossa nova, blues, and swing come together with soothing vocals on Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes from vocalist Gabriele Tranchina. She bridges traditional Latin and jazz-inspired motifs with New World impressions. The trickling sensations that shower over “Autumn in New York” have a Latin flavor with bongo strutting beats and nimble doodles on the piano keys. Her vocals are light and fluffy, suspended above the melodic fabric. The sedate chimes of the keys musing softly across “Bossa Ballad and Blues” inscribe a heavenly soundscape. Changing gears, the orchestration picks up the tempo to a swinging blues swagger in “Straphanging” then traverses into the tender tendrils of “Je Crois Entendre,” written by Georges Bizet. Tranchina sings the lyrics of “O Morro Nao Tem Vez” in Portuguese. Written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, the song is an upbeat melody accented by a catchy Latin rhythm. The poetic phrasing of the piano keys gives the title track an elevated slant. Tranchina’s treatment of Henry Mancini’s novelty “Meglio Stasera” is a Latin-shingled melody as she sings the lyrics in Italian. She flexes her versatility by singing “Ein Alter Tibetteppich” in its native German, shrouded in Latin-fringed aspects. Joining Tranchina is her husband Joe Vincent Tranchina on piano, Carlo De Rosa on bass, Vince Cherico on drums, and Renato Thoms on percussion. Produced by Rick Savage and arranged by Joe Vincent Tranchina, the recording is a palatial fare influenced by Latin-tinged palettes.
Wind-blown sails and stars in the eyes of a loved one, claimed in the title of the album and title composition, immediately set the romantic mood. Some at the same time immediately start listening to the disk in anticipation of the collection of lyric ballads, others will put it aside. But both are mistaken, because Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes the singer Gabriel Tranchina is much wider than this narrow framework, although the romance in this work is certainly present.
Gabriel Tranchina was born in Germany, but interest in different countries and different cultures tirelessly drove her into distant and close travels. Growing up, Gabriel traveled a lot of countries in Europe and Asia, moved to America, where she finally settled in New York. But the passion for travel, albeit in a slightly different form, did not leave the singer now, which was evident in her new album Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes. She sings here in five (!) Languages - English, Portuguese, French, Italian, and German. And in every song, Gabrielle’s sonorous and strong voice is the theater of one actor, where she skillfully gets used to the image of a representative of this or that culture. If we compared the singing of Gabriele with the theater, then, of course, there is also a talented director: it’s the husband of the singer, Joe Vincent Tranchina. He is the author of half of the album’s songs, the author of all arrangements and the performer on all kinds of keyboard instruments, who heads the Gabriel Quartet of musicians accompanying.
The beginning of the album is a hymn to Latin jazz and in the starting song of Joe Vincent Island Dreams, and in the interpretation of the Vernon Duke’s standard Autumn in New York. In many respects this work is facilitated by the work of both percussionists, Vince Cheriko and Renato Toms, who paint the entire pythmical structure of the compositions in the appropriate tone. In Bossa Ballad and Blue, another song of his wife, Gabriele leaves for Brazil, very subtly and accurately conveying the nuances of bossa-nova. She does not leave this region and in two covers of the most prominent Brazilian composers – Jobim and Milton Nasimento, I would call Jobim O Morro Nao Tem Vez one of the peaks of the album. However, it is not inferior to her spectacular, impudent, but convincing interpretation of the music of the French classic Georges Bizet Je Crois Entendre Encore. From high music, the wife of Tranchina confidently turn to high poetry: Joe Vincent wrote music to the poems of the outstanding German poet of the twentieth century, Elsie Lasker-Shuler, and Gabrielle performed Ein Alter Tibetteppich beautifully. And the main pearl of the album, I would call the final (more than ten minutes of sound) the final song A Song for India, also written by Joe Vincent and performed by Gabriele in the technique of syllabic singing. Of course, this is not a classic Indian raga, but a view of India from the West – but a loving, attentive and very talented look. Oddly enough, I did not like Tranchina’s journey to the world of jazz standards, and not because the singer looks weaker here: there are many such vocalists, but in her “travels through the countries and continents” Gabriele Tranchina is really unique.
If you like your jazz with a Latin/bossa feel, then this recording will appeal. Tranchina is a vocalist with a unique sound. There is a fragility of Stacey Kent and Astrud Gilberto but with the tonal quality of Nadia Basurto. The rather strange album title is intended to be suggestive of a varietal musical adventure which encounters sunshine, storms, calm water and high waves en route. Ms. Trancina is certainly talented. She sings in five languages as well as a vocalese on A Song for India. Her vocal style sometimes sacrifices perfect pitch for emotional interpretation and story-telling, but I can live with that.
Singer Gabriele Tranchina’s newest album, “Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes,” is a musical journey. Tranchina incorporates styles and languages of several countries as she charts the splendid waters of interpersonal relationships.
Gabriele Tranchina, a brief intro
German-born vocalist, Tranchina, has earned accolades from jazz music websites and critics. Her three-octave voice is highly praised for its smooth texture. Tranchina’s instrument is also flexible, yet steady. Her recording history dates back to 2004, with an album titled “The Old Country.” Tranchina’s “A Song of Love’s Color” (2010) earned the singer attention and compliments from music critics.
Tranchina performs with an ensemble that includes her husband, Joe Vincent Tranchina, who arranges, composes and plays piano on the album. In addition, Carlo De Rosa plays acoustic and electric bass on “Of Sailing Ships…,” Vince Cherico is on drums and percussion, and Renato Thoms also plays percussion and provides backing vocals on one of the tracks.
Gabriele Tranchina’s soundscape
Tranchina’s style is inflected with pop, jazz and Latin styles. Audiences can hear these genres on “Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes.” Listening to the lush soundscapes on “Of Sailing Ships…” listeners might think of pop jazz hit makers, Swing Out Sister.
Tranchina’s voice essentially sounds like a mid-range soprano. She surprises with her ability to hold steady notes that other singers might artificially push down to make smoky, or force up to sound light. All of Tranchina’s notes sound right and expertly turned. None of the notes sound as though the singer has strained to reach them. In short, she doesn’t make a grating sound.
Another interesting facet of Tranchina’s performance on the album is her use of language. The around-the-world feel of the release is expanded by Tranchina’s singing in five languages.
Most of the songs on the album are originals written by Joe Vincent. One standout track is “Bossa Ballad and Blue.” Its gentle rhythm is engaging and at first, it seems that the lyrical line might be too unwieldy for smooth singing. There is a romanticism that exudes from the lyrics and a rhythm that helps the song earn its title.
“Je Crois Entendre Encore” by Georges Bizet, is another song on the album that shouldn’t be missed. Sung in Tranchina’s lilting French, the song isn’t just a cover song, but an artful example. The presentation of this track, among others, helps to create a sense of place. The theme of the album is exemplified by songs like “Je Crois Entendre Encore.”
Gabriele Tranchina’s “Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes,” manages to stay true to its theme without overwhelming audiences. Too often, albums that are created with a global perspective sound contrived. Tranchina’s work flows easily from one cultural to the next. Each piece of the instrumentation meshes with the other, and none of it overwhelms the singer. That is important; the album remains one of vocal jazz and listeners get a chance to hear who the singer is, as shown through the work.
JazzTimes America’s Jazz Magazine
Gabriele Tranchina, A Song of Love’s Color (Jazzheads)
Gabriele Tranchina’s debut release, 2003’s Old Country, provided winning expression of her ability to expertly navigate both English and Brazillian jazz standards. Now, with the overdue arrival of her sophomore album, we get to experience the full breadth of her rainbow vividness.
The German-born, New York-based vocalist with the dazzling three-octave range, who credits Flora Purim and Ella Fitzgerald equally for igniting her love for jazz singing, brings the entirety of her globetrotting panache to play, singing in English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French and Hindi. Tranchina can swing with the vivacity of Astrud Gilberto on ballads, but there is nothing derivative in her kaleidoscopic flourishes, embracing chants, rap, spoken passages, scat and vocalese. Extending the album’s verse, Tranchina focuses primarily on original material, including only three covers – Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Samba de Uma Nota Só” and “Inútil Paisagem,” plus French superstar Michel Fugain’s “Chante Comme Si Tu Devais Mourir Demain” – among the album’s 11 tracks.
But creative due must also be extended to her husband, Joe Vincent Tranchina, who produced the album, shaped the arrangements (with assistance from co-producer and drummer Bobby Sanabria), provides piano accompaniment and was involved in the composition of all the original material. From the hypnotic invocation of “Asato Maa” (based on a traditional Hindu prayer), to the fervent whirl of “Voz,” his contributions are consistently, bracingly elevating.
Raul da Gama
It appears that exacting pitch is not really important in the grander scheme of things, for Gabriele Tranchina’s singing. Although it seems likely that if she really wanted to this vocalist could nail the exacting pitch of the notes themselves with perfection, Tranchina eschews the exactitude of notation to scale impossible heights of emotion.
In this respect she is like a storyteller who uses lyric passages to let tales of longing and other elusive emotions unfold with the songs she sings. As a vocalist Tranchina often coaxes her voice to stretch beyond its contralto comfort zone. This is no mean feat as there appears to be no strain at all. On the contrary, Tranchina never fails to surprise with the manner in which she is able to hold onto notes higher than her normal vocal range.
Another important feature of Gabriele Tranchina’s singing is that she is able to sing with stylish facility in French, Portuguese, Spanish and English as well as in her native German. On A Song of Love’s Color Tranchina even manages to navigate through a wonderful Sanskrit chant, “Asato Maa (Sat Chit Ananda).” T
his, of course, has everything to do with her Germanic roots-Sanskrit and German having the same linguistic origins. Nevertheless, the haunting rendition is memorable. Her version of “Today,” seemingly written almost exclusively in a diatonic mode is also quite exquisite as the song seems perfect for her method of intonation. And this is probably Gabriele Tranchina’s main vocal strength.
Through the velvety softness of her voice, Tranchina delivers lyrics with a deep sensitivity for the feeling of their underlying emotions. The song, “Duérmete Niño Bonito” is a perfect example. Here Tranchina displays emotion in equal measure whether she singing wordlessly or otherwise-in English or in another language. The dramaturge of the music is all in the manner of delivery. On “Voz” she turns wordless vocalizing into a fine art and in addition, displays exquisite interplay her band mates, especially with bassist, Santi DeBriano. The Panamanian-born, New York-based musician shows why he is so much in demand as an accompanist by other instrumentalists.
In his foray with Tranchina, DeBriano displays a wonderful sensitivity for the delicacy of the human voice as he goads the vocalist into realms of outstanding arabesques as well. The songs, “Solamente Pasion” and “Siehst Du Mich” are two of the finest examples on this record. On the latter, DeBriano undertakes an arco con brio arabesque of his own as he plots a brooding course throughout the song, ending in a single note that he holds down to establish the elemental pain of the character in the German poem. And this makes DeBriano the other star of the record.
However, it is clear from Tranchina’s performance that she is a vocalist of the highest order. Her style is not conventional. She may not ever sing an aria, but when she interprets the narrative of a song and gets in to character she has few peers. Anything new from her will be a welcome addition to the literature of vocal music.
Though female jazz vocalists tend to get lumped together, every once in a while, we get CD’s that have the degree of talent & vigor in their performances that elevates them far above the level of “just another lady jazz singer”…
Gabriele is certainly above the pack, & totally “international” in her appeal to your ears! It really doesn’t matter what language she sings in, her energy, inflection and pure joy in the singing of it shines through for you to groove on. The title track, for instance, “A Song of Love’s Color”, opens with a wonderful blending of voices that punctuates the 4:58 piece wonderfully…
for wonderful high-energy Latin flavors & shadings, you’ll certainly dig on “Samba de Uma Nota Só”…
beautiful rhythms that just won’t quit. It was “Sing a Song of Children”, with the sound of healing (through the lives of children, so artfully expressed by Gabriele) that captured my vote for favorite. I give this CD a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for any jazzers who love the sound of vibrant female vocals. The “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.97. Get more information at JAZZHEADS!
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. 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. 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.
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 theme 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 delivery. Debriano, Thoms, and Sanabria deliver the Latin groove that defines 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.
Latin Jazz Corner
Album Of The Week: A Song Of Love’s Color, Gabriele Tranchina
The idea of “world music” has always seemed like a bit of a facade – all music comes from somewhere in the world; just because we encounter a different musical culture doesn’t place it in a vague and exotic category.
This idea highlights the differences between musical worlds and creates a mental block around artistic exchange between cultures. It distracts musicians and listeners from finding the similarities between musical traditions and ultimately it hinders the active sharing of artistic ideas and aesthetic concepts. If we get past the boxed-in notion of “world music” as a genre unto itself and start look at the beauty in the cultural tradition of each region’s traditional music, we find a wealth of inspiration and possibilities.
At that point, wonderful collaborations emerge, musical boundaries are stretched, and new ways of looking at music are discovered. This moves beyond the fluent exchange between music from the Americas and the Caribbean, reaching into Europe, Asia, Africa, and beyond. Lyrical, rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic combinations rise into the forefront that we’ve never imagined, sparking only creativity and goodwill. When musicians re-imagine the “world music” category and explore music of the world, true artistry can emerge. Vocalist Gabriele Tranchina gathers a group of top-notch musicians around this perspective on A Song of Love’s Color, producing a colorful set that fluidly brings together a variety of cultural traditions.
Exploring Musical Worlds With Original Compositions
The group explores a variety of different musical worlds with several original compositions, smartly arranged by the group. A thick collection of intertwining overdubbed vocal scat from Tranchina floats over a steady cha cha cha groove on “A Song Of Love’s Color,” leading into a dramatic English vocal with a tightly wrapped rhythm section accompaniment.
Pianist Joe Vincent Tranchina maintains the serious minor mood of the piece with airy lines that drift through the solo with a defined sense of melodic integrity. Santi Debriano’s bowed bass creates a a broad sonic foundation beneath Tranchina’s return to the main melody, which takes the vocalist into a series of defined scat lines. Vincent Tranchina takes his time creating a gripping unaccompanied introduction to “Solamente Pasion,” stretching the boundaries of strong themes with flowery embellishments. A strong clave and forceful abinico from drummer Bobby Sanabria sends the band storming into a memorable bass vamp, a catchy coro, and a full-force Cuban descarga. Once the group settles into a driving son montuno, Tranchina opens into some nice pregones, sending the descarga into an exciting climax. Vincent Tranchina stretches broken chords across a vast expanse, setting the stage for Tranchina’s rubato vocal on “Today,” which gains a pleasant motion through a variety of rhythm section feels. Traces of the vocal melody peek through Vincent Trancina’s improvisation, evolving into an engaging statement as the pianist twists lines through swing, samba, and more.
As Tranchina returns for the vocal, the group pushes the song into a higher dynamic with improvised commentary from Vincent Tranchina. The rhythm section provides a strutting combination of Brazilian swing and funky groove behind Tranchina’s scatted melody on “Voz,” cleverly finding a locking point through common accents. Debriano flies into an impassion solo, storming through quick melodic runs and rhythmic figures, trading ideas with Vincent Tranchina’s understated piano response. After an extended scat and piano interlude, the group falls into a slow groove behind layers of overdubbed vocals, setting the stage for Tranchina’s well constructed scat solo. These pieces allow the group to explore Vincent Tranchina’s compositional voice, utilizing a variety of musical settings.
Lyrics From Creative Sources
Tranchina brings several worlds together by taking lyrics from creative sources and adding inventive musical accompaniment and arrangements. Talking drums assertively converse over a 6/8 groove on “Asato Maa (Sat Chit Ananda),” leading into Tranchina’s melodic interpretation of a traditional Hindu prayer.
Tranchina fills between pieces of the vocal with an inspired flair that combines the minor mood of the key center and the syncopated tension of the rhythmic foundation. Debriano establishes a steady bass line over a sparse percussion background as Tranchina offers a spoken English statement that explodes into a massive wave of thick vocals and explosive percussion fills.
A gentle piano vamp and sparse bass notes open the door for a German vocal on “Siehst Du Mich,” until Sanabria provides sensitive brush work, allowing Tranchina to broadly interpret the melody. Debriano imbues the song with a sense of delicate beauty, creating a touching bowed statement filled with emotional power. Vincent Tranchina follows with a carefully crafted improvisation built upon a light touch and resonating colors that flow smoothly back to the gripping vocal.
After a brief piano preview of the melody, Tranchina drifts into a heartfelt melody on “Duermete Mino Bonito,” gracefully moving between Spanish and English lyrics. Maintaining the mood, Debriano leaps into an introspective statement that dramatically weaves melodies through the rich chordal structure.
Vincent Tranchina briefly runs assertive themes over the bolero rhythm, before Tranchina stretches and twists the melody through smart and affecting variations. While each of the pieces draw their lyrics from unexpected sources, the group incorporates them into a Latin Jazz context with a seamless fluidity.
Staying Connected To Standard Repertoire
Tranchina and her group stay connected to standard repertoire from several styles with creative arrangements of several pieces. Sanabria establishes a rock solid samba groove underneath the rhythm section on “Chante Comme Si Tu Devais Mourir Demain” as Tranchina insightfully wraps a French lyric around the Brazilian structure.
After Tranchina skillfully works through the lengthy melody, Vincent Tranchina jumps into a lively improvisation that bounces around the rhythmic feel with vitality. Tranchina again finds a place over the addictive groove, layering thick harmonies as Sanabria and percussionist Renato Thoms build into a rhythmic frenzy. Vincent Tranchina enthusiastically pounds rhythmic chords over Sanabria’s racing samba rhythm on Jobim’s “Samba De Uma Nota So” while Tranchina moves through the familiar melody with character and style.
The group breaks down to only Sanabria and Thoms, giving the song a batucada setting while Tranchina speaks the lyrics rhythmically. As the group reaches the bridge, Sanabria and Thoms drop into a half time combination of reggae and funk while Tranchina raps, only to burst into the original tempo for the last bit of the melody. Vincent Tranchina improvises with a slow lyricism over an airy bossa nova on Jobim’s “Inutil Paisagem” until Tranchina enters with a reflective vocal that drifts over the rhythm section. Debriano moves into an inventive solo that both reflects the song’s melodic openness and pushes the song forward gently with an underlying rhythmic momentum.
Tranchina returns to the melody with liberal amounts of space, giving Vincent Tranchina the opportunity to improvise through the silence with a sensitive touch. These tracks provide the opportunity for Tranchina to show her respects to the standard repertoire, but to also flex her creative muscles with unique arrangements.
Breaking Out Of The “World Music” Box
Tranchina’s genre-crossing mixtures stretch our concept of individual musical traditions on A Song of Love’s Color, pushing things outside the “world music” box into an exploration of music of the world. Most of the album’s rhythmic content stays firmly planted in the Latin Jazz realm, with the arrangements more specifically focused upon Cuban and Brazilian genres.
Tranchina’s clever use of multiple languages starts exploring the grey area between stylistic specificity though, integrating lyrics in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Hindi, and German. The vocalist integrates this multitude of languages with ease, showing a skillful handle on vocal technique. The use of poems, lullabies, and more connect cultural traditions, giving the material some weight and integrity.
Smart arrangements from Vincent Tranchina and Sanabria fluidly marry these diverse cultures with Latin Jazz, creating comfortable and interesting musical contexts. Whether the arrangement combines a French text with a Brazilian samba or a Hindi poem with an Afro-Cuban 6/8, everything flows smoothly.
Consistent outstanding rhythm section work serves as the glue that holds the album together, ensuring musical excellence. Sanabria controls each stylistic shift with an addictive swing and a commanding presence while Debriano colors the music with rich sonic textures and interactive spontaneity.
The combination of these pieces results in a thought provoking musical mixture on A Song of Love’s Color, shifting our attention once again from music of the world into a whole new world of music.
D. Oscar Groomes
O’s Place Jazz Magazine
Gabriele Tranchina – A Song of Love’s Color 4/3
Gabriele is a truly a global vocalist raised in Europe and now based on the New York jazz scene. She sings with a wide array of influences in several languages and different styles. Yet Tranchina puts her own slant on things.
This is the case on the Latin classic “Samba De Una Nova Só” and “Solamente Pasión” with its strong mambo beat. Gabriele swings on “Today” one of several strong tunes written by her husband and pianist Joe Vincent Tranchina.
Santi Debriano (b) is also among the strong musicians on the CD adding great solos on “Inútil Paisagem” and “Asato Maa”. The album is more than a collage of different ideas; it is a balanced effort that is also well executed and enjoyable to listen to.
Gapplegate Music Blog
Things Brazilian form the core of the new album by together vocalist Gabriele Tranchina, “A Song of Love’s Color” (Jazzheads). First off drummer Bobby Sanabria (who co-produced the album) teams with percussionist Renato Thoms for some driving batucada styled work that constructs a solid foundation for true Samba bliss.
Beautiful bassist Santo Debriano locks into every groove and virtually guarantees that this date will be smoldering and red hot, depending on the song. Pianist Joe Vincent Tranchina plays all the right things at the right time and combines good taste with linear thrust.
Gabriele tackles some well-known and not-so-well known songs, triumphing over all. She has good pipes and a rhythmically astute delivery that makes “Love’s Color” a wonderful exercise in sophistication and raw power. This one kicks! Beautiful!
Warwick Valley Living
A Song of Love’s Color:
An Interview with Musicians Joe and Gabriele Tranchina
SR: Gabriele, why don’t you give us a little background on yourself as a singer.
Gabriele: I came to NY in 1988. I had a degree in education and a classical singing background. When I moved to NY, I started to get more involved in jazz. I worked as a jazz singer and while doing that, I was always interested in jazz and world music, I developed a large repertoire of Brazilian music and over the years I have developed that further. With our new CD, A Song of Love’s Color, we have a complete world approach.
SR: So singing foreign languages is not unique to you?
Gabriele: I speak German, English and some French. I do not speak Portuguese and Spanish but I have always done a repertoire that is in other languages.
SR: What made you decide this was the way you would shape this CD?
Gabriele: I enjoy singing standards but with this CD I wanted to feature Joe’s music and I also wanted to go in a different direction, feeling inspired by world music. I think it’s more me and feel I’ve come into my own as a person.
SR: I see that you are on the cover of Jazz Inside NY magazine, which is a popular jazz magazine in NYC. Would you consider your CD a jazz CD?
Gabriele: It’s a crossover CD. Everybody in the band performs jazz in its various forms. Improvisation is a major part of the CD, but it has an ethnic background. It’s world jazz and it’s vocal oriented.
SR: Joe you are the piano player and composer of many of the tunes here. Would you consider this a collaborative effort even though the CD is under Gabriele’s name?
Joe: Yeah, we consider it a collaborative effort. I am the main composer on the CD – I wrote the music and the lyrics and I did a couple of settings and then I collaborated with Gabriele on writing additional music and lyrics for the Spanish lullaby “Duermete Niño Bonito,” and I collaborated with Bobby Sanabria and Renato Thoms on “Solamente Pasión.” But even having written and arranged all of that music, when presenting it to great musicians, especially in the jazz and latin world, the background that we all have, it becomes a collaborative sharing of ideas on how to play the music and expand it and take it in new directions. This band is not just a band that got together to record a CD, but one that has done a whole bunch of gigs together playing in Manhattan – so we were familiar with each other’s styles of playing.
SR: Tell us a little bit about your background as a musician?
Joe: My main instrument is acoustic piano, I also play electric keyboards and I have done gigs on Hammond B-3 organ as well.
SR: Who are some of the jazz people you’ve worked with?
Joe: It’s a long list, but for the sake of brevity, a few of the vocal highlights include Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan, and Dakota Staton. Recently I’ve had the good fortune to twice play the Cape May Jazz Festival in New Jersey with Barbara King. I’ve also enjoyed playing with some great instrumentalists, including James Spaulding, Jimmy Heath, David “Fathead” Newman, Fred Wesley, and Dave Valentin. Accompanying the poetry of Abiodun Oyewole, one of the founding members of “The Last Poets,” and Golda Solomon, “The Medicine Woman of Jazz” was also quite enjoyable and inspiring. I also write poetry.
SR: When you heard the compositions in your mind, did you hear them as a world cross over thing or did you hear them as jazz tunes?
Joe: I compose in a lot of different styles. Thinking in terms of putting labels on music is something that is difficult for me, because when I’m writing, I’m basically writing music, and if it has a Brazilian influence or Salsa influence or Classical influence, it’s all music – it’s all a process of organizing sound.
SR: Gabriele, although this CD itself is inside the jazz world, it’s a world music type of CD. I use that definition because quite often people like to have an idea of what something is before they buy it. What are the challenges for jazz and is there a place to move forward with this?
Gabriele: I had stepped out of the jazz field because I don’t want to be put only in that category and I wanted to reach out to a wider audience. It’s important to me that I do good music instead of a specific genre. With my music, I like to reach out to a lot of different people and I like to deliver a positive message. I like my music to be uplifting.
SR: What do you think of the growing music scene in the area?
Gabriele: I’m very happy things are expanding. When we moved here, a bit over 8 years ago, I didn’t think of the scene in terms of being limited or needing growth. I only thought of this area as a scene that we wanted to be a part of. I immediately looked at the venues that were in this area and I went and approached the restaurant owners and club owners. I think that people in general were open and welcoming. For example, a few years ago we participated, both times that it ran, in the Brotherhood Wine and Jazz Fest, held at the Brotherhood Winery located in Washingtonville. It was a well-organized jazz festival with bigger headline names like Spyro Gyra and Gato Barbieri.
SR: It seems to be a nicely growing scene now. We have the Dautaj in Warwick, thanks to Ray Townly, whose been organizing weekly jazz at their venue. It’s becoming a place to play and hang for local musicians. Joe, you’ve performed with different people at various venues in this area as well. We have a growing circle of friends and musicians up here– Mark Egan, Adam Nussbaum, Freddie Jacobs, Jeff Ciampa, Rick Savage, and Richard Kimball, to name a few. This coming late summer/early fall there will even be a Warwick Jazz Festival You might be performing there as well.
SR: Is there any additional information regarding the CD or anything else that you want to speak to?
Joe: One of the main things about this CD is its presentation of a variety of languages and music from a variety of cultures. I have hopes that music such as this CD and world music in general will help bring people from all cultures together and unify people so that we can start celebrating all the things we have in common.
Gabriele: Along that line, our band consists of people from different places in the world and we work very well together. Where we come from, forms whom we are and that all comes together in our music – in a wonderful way. Personally I hope that we will be able to take the band on the road to tour. Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services, right here, handles our press promotion in Warwick, and Max Horowitz, Crossover Media, is handling our radio promotion.
SR: Gabriele, is there anything else that you would like to add?
Gabriele: In terms of advice, I would like to encourage musicians to go in the direction of their heart. Also, I have been inspired both by listening to and studying with others. For example, going to the Omega Institute and studying with Bobby McFerrin, helped me to expand my thoughts on how I do my songs. Discussing this with Joe expanded his ideas as well. Finally, I’d like to add that if Jazz is to be a growing and developing art form, I think people need to start branching out into other areas and incorporating those ideas, rather than repeating the same music over and over.
SR: I think your CD has accomplished that.
German-born Gabriele Tranchina covers six, count ’em, six languages in this United Nations of a release. Her enunciation in each dialect is Waterford Crystal clear, and she sounds as comfortable snapping over a Mexican “rap” piece (“Solamente Passion”) as on a gentle Teutonic ballad (“Siehst Du Mich”).