It's been an out-of-the-ordinary career trip for Roberta Gambarini--a trip that's seen her go from a young girl in Italy, scatting along with records by American singers Louis Armstrong
and Ella Fitzgerald
, to struggling to get singing gigs in her native land, to grabbing an opportunity to come to the United States, to gaining recognition by respected elders like Benny Carter
, James Moody
, Clark Terry
and nonagenarian pianist Hank Jones, who has proclaimed her the best jazz singer to emerge in sixty years."
She was accepted into certain jazz circles over a decade ago, and doors begin to open, even if slowly at first. But always behind that acceptance was a natural, exceptional talent, without which she wouldn't have opened certain ears and eyes--and doors--in the first place. She's blossomed, since coming to the United States in 1998, into one of the very best singers out there. She owns a wonderful instrument: her vocal cords, displaying power and nuance, rich textures and flexibility. And she's always working on how to convey a song with the right feeling and tell a story. It's important to her.
AAJ Contributor R.J. DeLuke spoke with Gambarini about her new album, So In Love (Groovin' High/Emarcy, 2009), choosing unorthodox material for interpretation, and the importance of the pianists she has worked with in her relatively brief, yet meteoric career.
Check out Roberta Gambarini: Making Listeners Fall 'So In Love' at AAJ today!