Stefania and Nicola first came together as members of the seminal 90s musical collective Fez, with Nicola leading the group. This period, one full of inspiration and discovery, laid the seeds for Natural. Though Stefania lent her enviable vocal talents to many bands over the years and Nicola went on to an illustrious production career, outside of a handful of tracks from Nicola’s album Jet Sounds, it was not until now that the stars aligned enough to merge their musical sensibilities once again to access the deep spirituality that is the core of their approach to sound. Stefania’s ongoing musical journey, with and without Nicola, has ensured that her connection to, and understanding of jazz runs deep, as she resoundingly demonstrates on Natural. With Nicola’s expert knowledge of Brazilian jazz, samba and bossa from the swinging 60’s (as is evident on the five ‘Viagem’ compilations he released with Far Out Recordings) he once again leads the way from the production seat, resulting in album rooted deeply in the musical history while providing the defining showcase for Stefania’s inimitable vocal talents.
The album’s title track serves as it’s lead single alongside a cover of Trio Ternura’s A Gira. Natural, penned by Nicola, Stefania and guitarist Fabrizio Savino draws together a smorgasborg of global influences boiled down to the essentials: a propulsive Afro-rhythm bolstered by a searing funk guitar, whilst soothing Rhodes chords provide a distinctly Brazilian warmth. Dipierro’s vocals are the cherry on top: a heartfelt and enriching melody with which she fires on all cylinders to unleash the many timbres of her voice.
A Gira, Trio Tenura’s classic Brazilian rare groove is re-arranged and re-recorded with Nicola Conte’s arrangement conjuring the same lazy swinging groove as the original, but with a richer modern resonance. Heftier Hammond organ and punchier percussion is again topped off with Dipierro’s sublime dulcet tones. The single has all the ingredients for top quality Brazilian boogie and these two tracks will no doubt whet the appetite for the album’s release in March.
supported by 5 fans who also own “Natural/ A Gira”
This album is simply delightful, from the gracefully mixed samples of field sounds with the synth ambience to the wonderful melodies sung that playfully uplift my spirits; delicate and magical! Hardey McMurrick