Enrico Pieranunzi Trio / Ada Montellanico

Ma L'Amore No

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This CD looks promising at first. A trio led by one of Europe's finest jazz pianists, Enrico Pieranunzi, occasional guest appearances by alto saxophonist Lee Konitz or fluegelhornist Enrico Rava, and a young Italian singer, Ada Monellanico. Piernanunzi's arrangements are consistently swinging, the musicians wail, and Monellanico has a strong, attractive voice on the seven tracks sung in Italian, even scatting an arco bass-like line in unison with her pianist on "Amore Fermati." The funky "Ma L'amore No" sounds like a New Orleans street parade, and she delivers a powerful vocal, backed by Rava's fine solo. The scatted introduction in unison with Pieranunzi's lively piano in the medley of "If You Turn Away" and "Who Can I Turn To?" is enjoyable, with a brief effective solo by Konitz, though the singer starts tripping up on words like "destiny." But her shortcomings on the remaining tracks sung in English are considerable, due either to her lack of familiarity with the language or an unwillingness to work hard enough to make herself clearly understood. "Fascinating Rhythm" starts out well enough, but there are a few more areas of sloppy enunciation. Pieranunzi's approach to "But Not for Me" is very unusual, with a repetitious bass vamp, but the hypnotic spell is broken by Montellanico's erratic enunciation. The Beatles' "The Fool on the Hill" is an inspired choice, but her repeated butchering of its words make painful to listen to. This inability to learn to pronounce English words correctly lowers the value of this otherwise impressive release by Ada Montellanico.

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