Jazz has been called America’s greatest original art form, America’s classical music, and the soundtrack of America. In fact, jazz is global music, heard and performed in all corners of the world.
In December 2014 I was fortunate to visit with one of today’s finest interpreters of the American songbook, which includes memorable tunes by the greats such as Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, the Gershwins and others. Roberta Gambarini, a fabulous jazz singer, appeared at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix.
We visited on The DM Zone before her MIM performance, chatting about how she, a native of Turin, Italy has become a leading jazz vocalist, proclaimed by the late jazz pianist Hank Jones as “The Best since Ella Fitzgerald.”
Before the interview ended, Roberta graced me with an acapella verse of “Sunny Side of the Street.” I was spellbound to stand side-by-side with her and hear that incredible voice as she so casually tossed out perfection. She scatted the ending! Watch the video and you will hear what I mean.
Later, we took our seats in the intimate hall at the MIM. Roberta began the concert walking out on stage, following her trio of incredible musicians: George Cables (piano), Jimmy Cobb (drums), and Ameen Saleem (bass). Standing center, she then sang acapella, “So In Love” from the musical “Kiss Me Kate.” I was mesmerized listening to her wonderfully clear instrument, so flawlessly displayed.
I have to add, that in my book, Roberta Gambarini is not only one of the finest Jazz vocalist, but one of the finest singers. Period.