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Connecting Spirits

with the Heath Brothers Band

connecting spirits album.jpg


Liner Notes by Jimmy Heath

“As a founding member of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, I have attended nearly to all of the International Jazz Competitions. At the Vocal Competition in 1998, I met one of the entrants, a young lady from Torino, Italy, who had arrived in the US for the first time, barely two weeks before. Her name was Roberta Gambarini and she was extraordinary. I really got to know Roberta when we worked together in the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars Big Band. This is where her musicianship came to the forefront, not only in her singing, but with her amazing scatting ability. James Moody and Roberta were a formidable creative improvisational Scat team that thrilled audiences and us musicians alike, all over the world. On the Dizzy Big Band recording introducing Roberta, called “Dizzy’s Business”, we did my original entitled “Moody’s Groove”. The two of them were phenomenal.

“All through the recording, the dialogue between Roberta and Jimmy is so deep and emotional that it brings these heartfelt compositions to life.”

(Jacques Muyal - Producer)

On the followup recording, “I’m beboppin’ too”, she sang beautifully on my arrangement of Tadd Dameron’s “If you could see me now”, as well as Slide Hampton’s gorgeous arrangements of “Round Midnight” and “Lover come back to me”. Roberta’s later work with legendary pianist Hank Jones is incredible. Then, one day, Roberta said she would like to do a recording of some of my compositions. I had some that I had written lyrics to, and some my niece Beth Jackson and I had done on my compositions. Some of my tunes were just instrumentals and boppish. She told me she could write lyrics, and just made me realize how enormous her talent is. WOW!! Roberta wrote lyrics to “Growing (New Picture)", "A Harmonic Future”, “The Thumper”, and “Mandela”. Her passionate, insightful lyric on “Mandela” shows the depth of her humanity. My son Mtume liked it and we were able to convince him to add some percussive touches and chants to the track. I am forever grateful to Roberta for getting involved in this project, and adding so much love, devotion, and musicianship to it."

Jimmy Heath

"Connecting Spirits" Reviews

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