[JPL] Roberta Gambarini

Dean Hampton 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
   of company."
   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:
   [1]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.
   Dean Hampton
   Kansas city


   1. http://www.jazzpolice.com/content/view/5823/53/

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