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Jay Edwards Welcomes Lenny White, Letizia Gambi To Jazz Tones On WCLK

Jay Edwards was joined on Jazz Tones July 12 by both the legendary Lenny White and Letizia Gambi.

Jay Edwards talks with Lenny White on Jazz Tones on WCLK 7/12/14

Here's what Gambi's website says by way of introduction:

INTRODUCING LETIZIA GAMBI" is the title of the debut recording by vocalist Letizia Gambi, a project conceived and developed with one of the most acclaimed musicians recording today, jazz drummer, producer, and multi Grammy Award winner, Lenny White.

As one of the founding fathers of the musical movement that became known as “Fusion,” Lenny played on two of the most important Jazz records ever made, Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” and Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay.” He earned a worldwide reputation as the drummer in the mid-’70s super group Return to Forever, together with Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke with whom he completed a recent international tour and won two more Grammy Awards for playing on and producing the record “Forever”. His versatility attracted the interest of many of the finest jazz musicians, leading to collaborations with Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Stan Getz, Gil Evans, Jaco Pastorius, Gato Barbieri, Wayne Shorter, Al Di Meola, Marcus Miller ,Michel Petrucciani, among others. Lenny has also worked with artists outside of the jazz idiom, like Santana, Bill Withers, Chaka Khan, Nancy Wilson and rappers LL Cool J and Big Daddy Kane. White has scored soundtracks (Spike Lee’s “School daze & Reginald Hudlin’s “House Party” together with Marcus Miller), composed orchestral music and is still working on his first Opera.

When Lenny met Letizia, after a gig in Milan, he was intrigued by the project idea that she developed, they began working together and after eighteen months of hard work between Milan, Rome and New York they created "Introducing Letizia Gambi" on the Jando Music label.

"Introducing Letizia Gambi" is the synthesis of two apparently distant worlds blended in perfect harmony, creating an authentic sound that combines African American heritage with Mediterranean melodies. It is a "cultural fusion". Lenny and Letizia arranged some of the most popular songs of the Italian and Neapolitan repertoire, international covers, and they composed original tunes for the project. The refined sensibility of the Italian singer, together with the exceptional experience of the American artist, merged to give birth to a 21st Century Musical Approach, as the two artists like to define it. The album is sung in English, Italian, Neapolitan and Spanish. It’s Mediterranean passion spoken through Jazz.

Lenny presented the project idea to some legendary musicians and they accepted the challenge, which led to extraordinary contributions by Ron Carter, Chick Corea, Wallace Roney, Patrice Rushen, Gil Goldstein and Gato Barbieri. Their performances have significantly contributed to the success of the project.

"Introducing Letizia Gambi" is held together by a common unique style. From "Appocundria", a cover of the famous Italian Pino Daniele, enhanced by the piano performance of Chick Corea, to "The question of U,” their cover of a Prince tune, with a solo by Gato Barbieri. The famous "Tu sì 'na cosa grande" by Domenico Modugno becomes "You are so special" the first ever English version recorded and approved by the great composer's wife; a wonderful ballad featuring the great Wallace Roney. The album was recorded in NY and NJ, the only song recorded in Italy is "Secret Tears" an interpretation of the old Italian aria "Una Furtiva Lagrima" by Gaetano Donizetti from the Opera "L'elisir d'amore." Letizia wrote new English lyrics for this song and recorded it with some of the best musicians on the Italian music scene. Antonio Farao', Dario Rosciglione and Max Ionata.

You can support WCLK by purchasing Gambi's new record by clicking on the image below: