Rocco Reviews…November 12, 2018


…Lucia Fodde – Freedom

Freedom is Berlin-based singer-songwriter Lucia Fodde’s second album. Her first album – 2012’s Just One of Those Things: A Tribute to Cole Porter with the Love’n Jazz Quartet, was a warm tribute to the great composer.

Freedom, however, is Fodde’s first solo album, released at the 2018 Copenhagen Jazz Festival, featuring original compositions sprinkled with some nice jazz standards. And then some.

A student of the prestigious Conservatorio di Musica of Cagliari, Fodde as a child growing up in her native Sardinia, was greatly influenced by her father’s passion for jazz through his extensive jazz vinyl collection. She felt a calling and followed it, joining the rich jazz scene of Berlin in 2013.

Featuring Davide Incorvaia on piano and synthesizer, Giuseppe Bottiglieri on bass, Jesus Vega on drums and Regis Molina on alto saxophone, Fodde’s strong, sultry voice compliments her modern jazz sound . Lovely, uplifting original works such as  Little Things (A lovely ode to those little things in life that make it worth living. Featuring a nice intro by Incorvaia and a smooth sax solo by Molina), Don’t Give Up, and The Promise. As well as smoky, romantic numbers such as  Your Eyes and Secret Love.

A favorite on Freedom is Who You Really Are, another original composition by Fodde that explores our roots not only in terms of our roots by birth but also those which we individually plant and cultivate. The roots of our souls. She sings:

Where do you come from
Maybe from my own world?
Cause I know,
we are connected
yes I know,
we are connected

Sons of
mother earth
moving like clouds
in the sky
carried around by the wind
in our search for peace,
stability, and a future

And when we feel
we’ve reached
our destination
we stop,
planting, resting our roots,

Your roots, my roots!

We are strangers
but brothers and sisters
at the same time
baby, tell me, tell me, tell me,
who you really are.

Fodde also performs  some classics such as I Cried For You – The 1923 standard composed by Gus Arnheim, Abe Lyman and Arthur Freed. Fodde’s cover is a bittersweet, blue nu jazz groove with a  nice bass solo by Giuseppe Bottiglieri. Then there is Sometimes I’m Happy – A nice cover of the classic show standard by Vincent Youmans, Irving Caesar, Clifford Grey first introduced in the 1927 Broadway musical, Hit the Deck.  Then there is So Many Stars . Here Fodde and company perform a lovely rendition of the 1968 Sergio Mendes’ tune co-written with Marilyn and Alan Bergman. Finally, the Miles Davis classic All Blues. Foddes’ cover is more uptempo, it cruises along with Bottiglieri’s bass, Molina’s sax, Incorvaia’s electric piano, Vega’s beat and Fodde’s sultry smooth interpretation of Oscar Brown‘s lyric, giving this number much jazz love and respect.  Freedom is a wonderful debut from a talented jazz singer and available on most online music shops.




…Il Santo – The Elegance of Nu Bossa Nova


ChinChin Records

Born in Foggia and based in Rome, Italy Il Santo aka Umberto Sangiovanni is a musician, composer, music producer and sound designer. His body of work is vast, writing scores for film and television as well as working on various music projects such as the renowned Daunia Orchestra of which he is both founder and leader.  Sangiovanni draws inspiration from many sources and genres such as jazz, lounge, film scores, dance, electronica to name a few.

His latest work is his second under the nome de plume of Il Santo.  The first Il Santo album Girls From Heaven was a smooth collection of nu jazz and lounge. Just released, The Elegance of Nu Bossa Nova is just that.  A nova bossa nova sound. An elegant album of bossa-inspired themes such as Bye-Bye, Close to You, Sem Fim and Onda (this song includes a remix version as well).  It is a new lounge sound that harkens to the traditional bossa pura. A lovely listen.

A video from 2015. Il Santo – You Can’t Fail

…Blackshapes –  Leave All Bad Things Behind

Funky Juice Records

Leave All Bad Things Behind is the first release by Italy’s purveyors of funk, soul, r&b for the dancefloor, Blackshapes.

The band’s talented lineup consists of accomplished musicians with roots not only in Italy, but Brasil, Senegal and the United States. Musicians such as Emiliano Pari: keyboards, vocalist, composer; Pierluigi Masciarelli: Guitars; Alex de Martino: Drums; Oumy N’dyae: Voice; Patrizio Sacco: Electric Bass; Neney Santos: Percussion.

Leave All Bad Things Behind is a fresh throwback to 1970’s funk-soul-r&b with killer jams such as Emergency Exit, Speedball, The Calling and Tell A Friend. And there are funky grooves like Red ChickenWest Coast Dream and Fat Groove. The band also slows it down a bit with songs such as It’s Your Life and The Prophecy. 

And while there are many solid tunes on Leave All Bad Things Behind, their second track – Give Me Your Smile – sounds like a hit. Featuring Oumy N’dyae’s soulful vocals, Give Me Your Smile has all the heart and soul of  70’s radio and its sound.    A most splendid debut from this Rome-based group.

Leave All Bad Things Behind

Additional Musicians:
Claudio Giusti: Tenor Sax
Mario Caporilli Trumpet

On tracks: Emergency Exit, It’s your life, Red Chicken, Tell a Friend.

Claudio Giusti, Flute on: West Coast dream

Ibrahima N’dyae:Vocals on: It’s Your Life, I Remember, Gimme Your Smile.