Esmeralda Ferrara

Sings Bill Evans

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Singer Esmeralda Ferrara professes a love for the music of piano great Bill Evans, but this tribute to him falls a bit flat. Her sense of time is excellent, though her heavily accented vocals and poor enunciation are rather distracting. Another problem is pianist Giovanni Mazzarino's arrangements. Pieces that were shimmering, haunting ballads when played by Evans seem to lose something in the translation. The droning rendition of "Turn Out the Stars," the ill-advised unaccompanied vocal introduction to "A Timeless Place" (known instrumentally as "The Peacocks" by Jimmy Rowles), and the overblown "Waltz for Debby" are just a few examples of obvious misfires. At times excessive reverb is added to her vocal, which does little to help matters. On the plus side, the work of the musicians (which includes bassist Paolino Dalla Porta and Evans' former drummer Eliot Zigmund) is excellent, particularly when trombonist Gianluca Petrella, trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso, and saxophonist Francesco Bearzatti are added to the piano trio. But fans of the music of Bill Evans should expect more from a singer.

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