Cara Campanelli: So Near
Produced by Jojo David
Recorded at Futura Studios, MA
Cara Campanelli on Vocals
Adam Birnbaum on Piano
Greg Gagnon on Guitar
Greg Loughman on Bass
Jimmy Elcock on Percussion
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 7, 2013
This CD is a lush selection of vocal ballads, composed by Rodgers and Hart, Irving Berlin, Charlie Chaplin, and Cole Porter, among many other renowned retro composers and lyricists. Cara Campanelli keeps each of the eleven tracks pure and uncluttered, to spotlight her vocals, by limiting musical accompaniment to solo guitar, piano, percussion, or bass, while offering generous instrumental interludes as well. (Jimmy Elcock is showcased on percussion on track #6, Temptation).
#2 Reaching for the Moon Composed by I. Berlin. Greg Loughman, on bass, converses with Ms. Campanelli in practically sighing musical shadows, as this Berlin ballad is sung in mesmerizing tones. Every lyric is clear and enchanting, drawing the listener close, like a confidante.
#3 Speak Low Composed by O. Nash, K. Weill. Ms. Campanelli reaches beyond Greg Gagnons guitar tones to expand and illuminate her musicality, with lovely effect. The song is unhurried and candlelit, sometimes whispered, sometimes crooned.
#5 My Romance Composed by R. Rodgers, L. Hart. Mr. Gagnon, on guitar, and Ms. Campanelli share the theme here, with hushed strings and breezy vocals, in rapturous momentum. Ms. Campanelli extends the ballad for easygoing vocal styling and for emotional impact of the lyrics.
#11 Smile Composed by C. Chaplin, J. Turner, G. Parsons. Ms. Campanelli and Adam Birnbaum team up for this final track (among others), and Mr. Birnbaum plays a soulful piano theme, in the midst of a very poignant track. This music is nurturing and entrancing.