Jazzitalia - Eva Simontacchi: Pure Ecstasy
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Splasc(h) Records - 2007
Eva Simontacchi
Pure Ecstasy

1. Pure Ecstasy (Roberto Cipelli, Eva Simontacchi)
2. I Remember You (V. Schertzinger, J. Mercer)
3. I Thiught About You (J. Van Heusen, J. Mercer)
4. Lush Life (B. Strayhorn)
5. You Lighten Up My Life (Roberto Cipelli, Eva Simontacchi)
6. Some Gershwin Air (Attilio Zanchi, Eva Simontacchi)
7. What Is This Thing Called Love (C. Porter)
8. In Summer (Brighetti, B. Martino, J. Hendricks)
9. The More I See You (H. Warren, M. Gordon)
10. There Is No Greater Love (I. Jones, M. Symes)
11. When I Fall In Love (special guest, singer Ermanno Principe) (Y. Young, E. Heyman)

Eva Simontacchi - vocal
Roberto Cipelli - Piano
Attilio Zanchi - double bass
Gianni Cazzola - drums

Special Guest:

Gendrickson Mena - trumpet & flugelhorn

Eva Simontacchi comes out with her debut album "Pure Ecstasy" for Splasc(H) Records. The first question that comes to my mind is: why did she wait so long to do it? Eva Simontacchi, in fact, has all the qualities to appear and be included in the restricted circle of classy Italian vocalists: intonation, swing, perfect pronunciation and a wide jazz culture (she is a very much appreciated vocal technique instructor).

t is evident from the very first notes that the choice of the compositions of the album is not casual at all, but is supported by an in-depth knowledge of the Broadway songbook, even under the historycal point of view, of the greatest jazz vocalists (Ella Fitzgerald in the first place). The original compositions too, written with Roberto Cipelli and Attilio Zanchi are interesting and well-arranged, especially "You Lighten Up My Life" that has an intriguing introduction followed by a beautiful melody that enhances the qualities and the vocal colours of the vocalist. In my opinion, the mood of this song, and the mood of "Pure Ecstasy" could direct the future choices of Eva Simontacchi.

The choice of the partners that the Milanese vocalist chose for her album couldn't have been more appropriate. The E.S.P. Trio (R. Cipelli, A.Zanchi and G. Cazzola) is in fact one of the few Italian jazz trios that "specialized" in the accompanyment of vocalists (we all remember the long and fruitful collaboration with Sheila Jordan). The three musicians have also been given adequate space and possibility to express themselves in their worthless solos.

But under the instrumental point of view, the true surprise in the record is the Cuban jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player Gendrickson Mena, that I personally didn't know. He is truly amazing both when he plays the trumpet, the muted trumpet and the flugelhorn. Apart from the ideas he sets forth in his solos and in his phrasing that he performs with self-confidence and technical skill, the listener realizes right away that he has an advanced knowledge of harmony, probably derived from his piano studies and performances. Even though the atmosphere chosen by Eva Simontacchi is suspended and suffused, Gendrickson doesn't avoid some "oblique" phrasings that enhance his improvisations.

I would like to point out the beautiful pianoless version of "I Remember You", the excellent performance of Cipelli in "Lush Life", and "When I Fall In Love" in which Eva duets with the warm voice of Ermanno Principe. A good record, a mature work, very pleasing to the ear. We hope Eva Simontacchi's next album will be a work on original songs, and we think she can surely afford to take a little more risk."
Claudio Angeleri for Jazzitalia

Articoli correlati:

Ivan Lins at Blue Note in Milan: "His simplicity, naturalness and generosity are evident during his performances. You can feel he's with his audience all the time; he gives all he's got, and he does it having fun and involving Amuedo, the guitar-player with meaningful glances in order to establish performances and dynamics." (E. Simontacchi, N. Pazzaglia)


Interview with Ivan Lins: "When I start to write songs, well, I've never written songs for me, because I started to sing a little late in my career. Well, I started everything late. I started piano when I was 18, and then I started to write songs when I was at the University, and I never thought I was going to sing one day in my life. So when I was starting to write songs, I was imagining somebody singing them. And this kicks into my heart today." (Eva Simontacchi)


Interview with Mary Setrakian: "...I work on the "need". The need is something you have when you're a little child. A need to be loved, a need to be seen, a need to be heard, a need to be somebody. There are all sorts of different needs, and the actor is to connect to the need sensation and sing and speak through that sensation..." (Eva Simontacchi)


Mary Setrakian & Avant Orchestra, When Broadway Encounters Jazz in Italy: "She has no microphone, but we hear her voice quite well, even though a whole big band is playing. She is singing and walking toward the stage in the isle between the rows of seats of the Teatro delle Erbe to reach the orchestra. She carries such a positive energy with her, and spreads it around to all the people in the audience." (Eva Simontacchi)


5 day course with Mary Setrakian: "...we all had to face the fact of "being naked" in our emotions, and this is something that may make somebody unsure, or raise some defences. But Mary supported each of us in our individual journies." (Eva Simontacchi)

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