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Monday, March 07, 2016

CD Review: Gabriela Martina - No White Shoes

Gabriela Martina (vocals); Jiri Nedoma (piano); Jussi Reijonen (guitar); Kyle Miles (acoustic/electric bass); Alex Bailey (drums) Anonymous (trumpet? clarinet?)
(Review by Ann Alex)
This week I’m reviewing 2 contrasting CDs, both by women singers and lyricists, and both of mainly original material.  But how different they are!  Ms Martina’s is the less satisfactory CD.  The musicians are very capable and her voice is sweet and pleasant, with a wide vocal range.
  The snag is with the material covered. Too many styles of music are involved, including jazz, folk, funk and some free improvisation, resulting in a confusing mish-mash.  The better tracks are those which are not originals, such as the version of Wayne Shorter’s Witch Hunt, sung as a multi-tracked a cappella song, giving the effect of a choir; and Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia, with its insistent electronic drum beat.
 The other tracks are mainly love songs with titles such as Narcissus; On My Way; Love Me; Origin; Us; No White Shoes; Thirsty Flower. Too many styles come up on the same track, and the free improvisation could have benefited from some editing, but then it wouldn’t have been free, would it?  There is also a mysterious extra musician who is unaccounted for, playing either trumpet quietly, clarinet, or maybe a soprano sax, or it could be a special effect on electric guitar.
I feel sure that this band is capable of much more, as their credentials are sound. Ms Martina was born in Switzerland, and grew up singing and yodelling with her family singing group.  She is now based in the USA, where she studied music and she has performed around the East coast of the USA and beyond.
The album is available only as a download at www.cdbaby.com/cd/gabrielamartina3  or amzn.to/1oWaCBc
Ann Alex

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