Vanessa Racci | Italiana Fresca

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Italiana Fresca

by Vanessa Racci

Described as the Mob Hits compilation for hipsters, this album puts a modern, jazz spin on Italian American Classics.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz-Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. C'é la luna (Mezz'o mare)
3:20 $0.99
2. Guaglione
4:09 $0.99
3. O sole mio
4:38 $0.99
4. Buona sera
3:35 $0.99
5. Return to Me
4:35 $0.99
6. Tu vuó fá l'Americano
3:04 $0.99
7. Scapricciatiello
4:26 $0.99
8. Na voce, na chitarra e o poco e luna
4:31 $0.99
9. Al di lá
4:01 $0.99
10. Italian Love Medley: Anema e core / O Marenariello
4:25 $0.99
11. Tik-a-Tee, Tik-a-Tay
2:49 $0.99
12. Se tu m'ami
4:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

I absolutely love the idea behind this album. Vanessa, with her clear, mellow alto, has taken songs treasured for generations and completely redefined them. A wonderful, warm-hearted listen from top to bottom." - Jane Monheit, Jazz Sensation.

"This is not an old school Starbucks Italian song comp. A modern gal from an old school New York Italian household heard her grandpa play his old records around the house all day long. In anti diva mode, she refashions these tunes easily into being at home on “Mob Hits” compilations for hipsters. Viola, she’s made them fresh and fun for everyone in the process. Bringing in some real jazzbos to keep it real, nobody is going to call you a Moustache Pete when you get to grooving to these classics. Fun stuff with just the right touch throughout, her cd could easily replace Jimmy Roselli’s in certain glove boxes in certain cars. Killer stuff throughout." - Mid-West Record Review

"Vanessa Racci's CD is Al Di Lighfull" - Bill Miller, National Radio Host

"This quite unique recoding stands out from the crowd. Vanessa Racci's great sound blends perfectly with jazzy arrangements of Classic Italian-American songs." - Ron Forman, WKRB


Praised for her “truly remarkable voice and style” (Mike Bennett, WHUD radio), Vanessa has used big-band, small-group, and Afro-Cuban jazz as well as lush strings to give Italian American classics an exciting new sound. At its heart is her shimmering, sweet-and-sour tone, impeccable musicianship, and Italian passion. “I absolutely love the idea behind this album,” says the acclaimed jazz singer Jane Monheit, whose master class at Birdland brought Vanessa to the attention of owner Gianni Valenti. “Vanessa,” adds Jane, “with her clear, mellow alto, has taken songs treasured for generations and completely redefined them.”

The arrangements and piano-playing come from Yaron Gershovsky (longtime musical director for the Manhattan Transfer) and Glafkos Kontemeniotis, a respected fixture on the New York jazz scene. Leading the team was David Finck, a much-sought-after producer and one of the most admired bassists in jazz. Having worked with George Michael, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, and Gladys Knight, David knows all about vocal artistry; he was knocked out by Vanessa’s “natural sense of rhythm and flow, and her wonderful ability to communicate both musical and poetic language.”

Italiana Fresca was inspired by Vanessa’s late grandfather, Frank Prisciantelli, who passed in 2016. He lived in the basement apartment of her family home in Thornwood, New York, and his cherished Italian records resounded through the house. The album commemorates Frank and the music he adored, much of which is in danger of fading away. “I want to keep these songs alive for a new generation of Italian-Americans,” says Vanessa.

She had other missions in mind, one of them feminist. “I feel these songs show the many moods of the Italian woman. I wanted to share them in the female Italian voice, which is not as well represented as the male voice. I also wanted to modernize them, while still bringing out the original meaning.” To that end, she wrote new English lyrics for several songs. “‘O sole mio” is famous in the U.S. as “It’s Now or Never,” Elvis Presley’s 1960 hit. But the words he sang bear no relation to the original ones; Vanessa’s version restores the ethereal quality of a love song whose Italian lyric proclaims, “you are my sunshine.” The comic favorite “C’é la luna (mezz’o mare)” (There’s a Moon in the Middle of the Sea), made famous by Dean Martin and Louis Prima, gains a blast of new energy from a swinging big-band arrangement. Yaron puts an Afro-Cuban spin on the 1950s hit “Tu vuò fà l’americano” (You Try to Act the American), about a big shot eager to flaunt his Americanized ways; and the object of his affection, who calls his bluff. Whatever the song, Vanessa’s jazz feeling and acting ability bring it vividly to life.



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