Laura Campisi, Fac&Bass!
On May 29th, I was lucky to have a chance to listen to a wonderful concert at Somethin’ Jazz featuring Laura Campisi accompanied by the wonderfully eclectic bassist Ameen Saleem.
Winner of the Lucca Jazz Donna award in 2009, Laura is a talented songwriter and heartfelt performer. Her honesty and artistry transcends her being categorized as just a jazz singer. Not surprisingly, she has performed with many well known musicians from the Italian jazz scene as well as with some of the best cats in New York.
To describe her voice is like experiencing a whirlwind of sensations. The timbre of her soprano range is bright and warm, yet there is an undercurrent of cooler and darker tones which comforts you like a cool wave in the crystal clear Sicilian sea. Laura’s voice took me to those beaches, the sand, the white rocks and blue sea and uncovers the hidden sorrows and painful truths that lie among the beauty that surrounds.
Fac&Bass!, her tour de force performance consisted of two instruments, two voices,and one courageous repertoire. Starting with an explosive “Ever fallen in love” the famous 1978 hit song by The Buzzocks, she amused the audience with her grace and with songs from songwriters like “Be cool” (Joni Mitchell)”Don’t think twice” (Bob Dylan) “Waitin’ in vain” (Bob Marley) she mesmerized us with her strong charisma. Next was her outstanding interpretation of Hyperballad (Bjork) and with that made our hearts stop. Following with Gone (an original song by Peter Box )with which she won the Lucca Jazz Donna 2009 competition, she revealed her hidden blues heart. In her incredible version of Nardis (part of her new album) she left everybody enchanted, she charmed us during “Alla luce del giorno”(in the daylight) and in “Da quando Elisa se n’è andata”( since Elisa went away) she took us away to what was like a fantastic glittering dream.
“Solitude”, her amazing ballad, she pierced our hearts with the gloom of a lost love, followed by an impeccably phrased “For all we know” and explosive passion in “Whatever Lola wants” from the 1955 musical play Damn Yankees. Just when you think every emotion has been exhausted, she unexpectedly brought out a moment of sophisticated originality, the translation in Italian of the “San Diego Serenade” by Tom Waits, beautifully adapted and arranged. Not to mention the hilarious yet bittersweet performance of the Buena Vista Social Club”Dos gardenias”, and the touching Sicilian folk song “Mi votu e mi rivotu” (I flip and turn in bed).
For her grand finale, she gave her sensational version of Big in Japan (Tom Waits) where she added magical colors and shades to this hypnotic rendition, having us burning for more.
Welcome in NY Laura!
June 19th (Wed) at 7.30-10.30 @ Antibes Bistro
June 22nd (Sat) at 12pm, @ the Churchyard of the Church of the Most Precious Blood in Little Italy
June 23rd (Sun) at 9pm @ Somethin’ Jazz Club “Voice of Women”
June 30th (Sun) @ Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, New Jersey