Hibla Gerzmava: Opera Jazz Blues

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This CD is a programme of work it probably never crossed your mind you’d need: soprano Gerzmava sings classical, jazz and blues. This doesn’t mean she stops being a soprano and sings jazz in husky tones, it means you get jazz/blues (and classical) piano accompanying what is mostly operatic singing.

Track one is a delicate rendition of a piece from La Traviata while track two sees the piano belting out the blues while Gerzmava gives it both lungs as she sings a work by Mikhail Glinka. There’s a nice piano solo before Gerzmava closes with an “Oh yeah!” That “Oh yeah!” sums up the album really; it shouldn’t work, but it does.

Elsewhere there’s some Snow White style vocal sparring with the piano, polite scat singing and a restrained double bass solo.

Gerzmava and the Daniel Kramer Trio were apparently inspired to create a jazz/classical experiment a few years ago, and took more than a year to select the repertoire, discuss details and make arrangements. The result is a programme of contrasts that’s in turn moving, amusing and lively. It’s polite, but unexpectedly enjoyable.

Out now on Melodiya, MELCD1002466.

Buy it here. Oh yeah.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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