Although she still flies under the radar of widespread recognition, Roberta Gambarini is a spectacularly talented jazz singer who is regularly compared favorably with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae. No less than iconic jazz pianist Hank Jones, who collaborated with Gambarini on her 2008 major-label debut, You Are There, declared her the best new singer in 60 years. Indeed, she has great tone and wonderful phrasing, commands easy authority with an impressive range, and can scat with great speed and precision. She steps out with the last on a scintillating version of Cole Porter's "From This Moment On" on her latest, last summer's So in Love (Emarcy/Groovin' High). With stellar guest shots from trumpeter Roy Hargrove and saxophonist James Moody, Gambarini, a New York-based native of Turin, Italy, also turns in sparkling renditions of additional jazz standards by Porter, Harold Arlen, and Johnny Mercer. But she glows on her own arrangements of pop fare, too, including a shimmering cover of the Patsy Cline hit "Crazy," featuring Hargrove's sly fluegelhorn, and a wonderful Beatles medley. No word at press time who will accompany her, but Gambarini is a must-see singer no matter who else shows.
Mon., Feb. 8, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2010