Roberta Gambarini: Medley from Cinema Paradiso

Track

Medley from Cinema Paradiso

Artist

CD

So in Love (Emarcy 13160)

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Musicians:

Roberta Gambarini (vocals), George Mraz (bass), Al Foster (drums),

Eric Gunnison (piano)

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Composed by Ennio Morricone & Andrea Morricone

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Recorded: Big Sur, California, September 22, 2001

Albumcoverrobertagambarinisoinlove

Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Roberta Gambarini hits all the right notes, but I have sometimes felt that she misses the psychological riches of the songs she sings. I give her credit: she always surrounds herself with the finest musicians, and her own musicianship is never in question; yet I have expected more from this prepossessing woman. She is one of the most polished vocalists of our day, but if a polished sheen is not what you are looking for in your music, you might be better off checking out Patricia Barber or Cassandra Wilson, artists who grapple with songs from the inside.

Or at least that was my opinion before I heard this recording. Gambarini impresses on this track, recorded a few days after the 9/11 attacks, an event that left her shaken yet determined to immerse herself in her craft. Did the surrounding circumstances inspire the star singer to dig more deeply into her material? I can't answer that question, but I do know that the two tracks on So in Love that were recorded on September 22, 2001 are standout performances, and have forced me to reevaluate this artist, who shows here that she is capable of greatness. And there isn't a single oop-bop-uh-bam-boom tossed out glibly to spoil the mood. I am still cautious, but for the time being I am joining the fan club.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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