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Tropical Postcards

Roseanna Vitro

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Album Review

Tropical Postcards isn't the first time that Roseanna Vitro has embraced Brazilian jazz; over the years, the expressive vocalist has recorded some Brazilian songs here and there. However, Tropical Postcards is the first time that Brazilian jazz has seriously dominated one of her albums, and it is also among her best, most inspired and memorable projects. Vitro doesn't embrace Brazilian jazz exclusively on Tropical Postcards; she gets away from the album's Brazilian theme on McCoy Tyner's "In Search of My Heart" (which favors more of a modal/Indian/Middle Eastern ambience) and Johnny Mercer's "I Remember You." Nonetheless, Brazilian jazz is the album's primary direction, and that theme serves Vitro impressively well whether she is tackling Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Wave" and two Milton Nascimento songs ("Cravo e Canela" and "Certas Cancoes") or providing a bossa nova interpretation of the standard "I'll Be Seeing You." Thankfully, Tropical Postcards doesn't have an all-standards-all-the-time policy; Vitro, much to her credit, isn't afraid to offer some surprises when it comes to selecting material. "Wave," "I'll Be Seeing You" and "I Remember You" have been recorded countless times, but Vitro — true to form — also surprises us with some gems that jazz vocalists haven't paid nearly as much attention to, including Tom Harrell's "Terrestris" and Ivan Lins' "I Just Need Your Kisses." Clearly, Vitro is smart enough to realize that a song doesn't have to be a Tin Pan Alley warhorse to have value, and she knows how important it is for a jazz vocalist to put his/her stamp on some lesser known pearls. Tropical Postcards is an excellent addition to Vitro's catalog.

Biography

Born: 1951 in Texarkana, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Although underrated, Roseanna Vitro's versatility, sense of swing, and highly appealing voice made her one of the most consistently interesting jazz singers of the 1990s and 2000s. She started her career in Houston in the mid-'70s (originally singing blues and rock) where she had a two-year engagement at the Green Room while hosting a weekly live radio broadcast. Shortly after moving to New York in 1980 she worked with Lionel Hampton. Roseanna Vitro, who continually takes colorful chances in her...
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Tropical Postcards, Roseanna Vitro
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