Gabriele Tranchina presents global-inspired vocal jazz

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Singer Gabriele Tranchina’s newest album, “Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes,” is a musical journey. Tranchina incorporates styles and languages of several countries as she charts the splendid waters of interpersonal relationships.

Gabriele Tranchina, a brief intro

German-born vocalist, Tranchina, has earned accolades from jazz music websites and critics. Her three-octave voice is highly praised for its smooth texture. Tranchina’s instrument is also flexible, yet steady. Her recording history dates back to 2004, with an album titled “The Old Country.” Tranchina’s “A Song of Love’s Color” (2010) earned the singer attention and compliments from music critics.

Tranchina performs with an ensemble that includes her husband, Joe Vincent Tranchina, who arranges, composes and plays piano on the album. In addition, Carlo De Rosa plays acoustic and electric bass on “Of Sailing Ships…,” Vince Cherico is on drums and percussion, and Renato Thoms also plays percussion and provides backing vocals on one of the tracks.

Gabriele Tranchina’s soundscape

Tranchina’s style is inflected with pop, jazz and Latin styles. Audiences can hear these genres on “Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes.” Listening to the lush soundscapes on “Of Sailing Ships…” listeners might think of pop jazz hit makers, Swing Out Sister.

Tranchina’s voice essentially sounds like a mid-range soprano. She surprises with her ability to hold steady notes that other singers might artificially push down to make smoky, or forceĀ  up to sound light. All of Tranchina’s notes sound right and expertly turned. None of the notes sound as though the singer has strained to reach them. In short, she doesn’t make a grating sound.

Another interesting facet of Tranchina’s performance on the album is her use of language. The around-the-world feel of the release is expanded by Tranchina’s singing in five languages.

Most of the songs on the album are originals written by Joe Vincent. One standout track is “Bossa Ballad and Blue.” Its gentle rhythm is engaging and at first, it seems that the lyrical line might be too unwieldy for smooth singing. There is a romanticism that exudes from the lyrics and a rhythm that helps the song earn its title.

“Je Crois Entendre Encore” by Georges Bizet, is another song on the album that shouldn’t be missed. Sung in Tranchina’s lilting French, the song isn’t just a cover song, but an artful example. The presentation of this track, among others, helps to create a sense of place. The theme of the album is exemplified by songs like “Je Crois Entendre Encore.”

Gabriele Tranchina’s “Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes,” manages to stay true to its theme without overwhelming audiences. Too often, albums that are created with a global perspective sound contrived. Tranchina’s work flows easily from one cultural to the next. Each piece of the instrumentation meshes with the other, and none of it overwhelms the singer. That is important; the album remains one of vocal jazz and listeners get a chance to hear who the singer is, as shown through the work.

 

 

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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