[JPL] Roberta Gambarini
jazz at kc.rr.com
Thu Sep 14 11:00:52 EDT 2006
I think I am a pretty good judge of jazz vocalists but by far, not the
best. I had not listened to Roberta before this thread or if I did, I
didn't take her seriously (which I can't imagine). I listened to her
on her web site, then clips from several other sites. Without doubt,
she is the real deal!! Then I got her CD (via iTunes).
I was so impressed that I sent some of her music to my absolute
favorite jazz voice educator/coach, Carol. She is very critical of
those who are not jazz purists. She wrote back, "Holy cow!!! A real,
honest-to-goodness singer with purity of tone, breath, ideation,
technical facility, warmth, depth, range, taste....this Must be a
joke!!!! Can it possibly be??? How/where did you find her? Is she a
computer dressed up in a human body? It's almost too good to be
true!!!! Thanks for sharing"
We talked later about comparing her to the greats - the ladies who are
household names. I explained that I don't really like such comparisons
but I sometimes comment that I hear bits and pieces of their tunes
that remind me of (fill in the blank). Carol wrote back, "I'm with you
- the comparisons mean nothing more than that she belongs in the best
I would put Roberta on stage with anybody out there, past, present or
probably future. I'm sure that if she wants us to, we will hear a lot
more of her over the years.
Some really great jazz vocalist don't really care if they become
household names. Perfect example is Lisa Henry who won 2nd place in
the Monk vocal competition in about '93 or '94. She's fantastic and
still does a lot of work with the Monk Institute. I don't think you
can find any of her recording online anyplace (but I could be wrong
about that). (Good article about her and Bobby Watson here:
http://www.jazzpolice.com/content/view/5823/53/) First, Lisa is a
mom. Next, she is a jazz educator. Then she is a jazz performer who
has been all over the world turning crowds on, then coming home to do
her thing(s). I would put Lisa on stage with Roberta and the very best
in today's market.
From where this all started, I like Gladys Knight and Smoky Robinson.
I think it would be a shame for them to be on the jazz charts with the
two albums discussed in these related threads.
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