Chiara Pancaldi: What Is There To Say

By Jazzwise Magazine

This trio date from Italian vocalist Chiara Pancaldi – augmented by special guests on two tracks – scores highly for its freshness, spontaneity and sense of risk-taking. In addition to sparkling takes on Cole Porter’s much covered ‘Everything I Love’, excerpted from Act 1 of the 1941 musical Let’s Face It, and the Mel Tormé/Robert Wells standard ‘Born to Be Blue’, Pancaldi’s light-as-air sound and beautiful phrasing are heard to especially moving effect on the traditional folk song ‘Black is the Color Of My True Love’s Hair’.

Previously recorded by Chris Connor, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, Nat ‘King’ Cole and others, as we

ll as instrumentalists including pianist Bill Evans, Pancaldi gives a striking, clear-toned performance of the title-track, made all the more memorable by the presence of trumpeter Jeremy Pelt. Harmonica player Laurent Maur similarly lights up a fine reading of ‘A Timeless Place (The Peacocks)’. From the Ellington/Strayhorn canon, a pulsating ‘I Don’t Mind’ reveals an affecting lyrical sweep that crackles with life. Pianist Lightsey and bassist Hall play throughout with warmth, sensitivity and a real joie de vivre, offering the most empathetic support imaginable.