On A Cloud

Artist: Diana Torti

Date of Release: 25/01/2019

Catalogue no: SLAMCD595

Label: SLAM

Price: £9.50

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Track Listing









Diana Torti - voice
Sabino de Bari - classical guitar

The extraordinary jazz singer of the avant-guarde tradition Jeanne Lee has long been the subject of the music and literary works of Diana Torti, jazz singer and composer. This dedication marks the 80th year since the birth of Jeanne Lee on 29 January 1939 with the respect and admiration of one artist for another. It is the third SLAM CD to feature Diana Torti, this time as leader, following her work with Lucia Ianniello on SLAMCD 566 & 585.

Diana writes:
“On a Cloud” is a project born during a passionate music and vocal research focused on the figure of Jeanne Lee, wonderful singer of the avant-garde Jazz. She has been a courageous artist and pioneer of an innovative way of singing in Jazz music starting from the Sixties. The CD will be released on the occasion of the celebration of the 80th anniversary of her birth in January 2019 in homage to this extraordinary musician and poetess.
The repertoire draws on standards, improvisations and original compositions inspired by Jeanne Lee’s world of sounds. The choice of the duo, voice and classical guitar, is an ideal dimension to re-elaborate the poetic, refined and intimate atmosphere of Lee's music.
The ensemble that includes besides me (voice) also the guitarist and composer Sabino de Bari (classical guitar), has over time developed and matured a consolidated artistic alchemy. In our music both improvisation and composition are experienced as an expressive possibility out of any stylistic connotation. Timbres, words, noises and breaths merge, chase or dance together freely, to evoke suggestions and sound images.

1) Misterioso (Thelonious Monk, Gertrude Stein, Diana Torti) 5:04
2) Straight Ahead (Abbey Lincoln) 4:13
3) Raskňlnikov (Sabino de Bari) 5:16
4) In These Last Days (Jeanne Lee) 3:58
5) The Man Of The Sea (Diana Torti) 5:30
6) The Seagulls Of Kristiansund (Mal Waldron) 8:12
7) Honeysuckle Rose (Fats Waller) 4:01
8) Fireflies (Diana Torti, Sabino de Bari) 3:43
9) On A Cloud (Diana Torti) 5:44
10) Cavalcando (Diana Torti) 2:38




01/11/2019 Stefano Dentice




Sempre in duo con una chitarra classica (Sabino De Bari) si snoda il nuovo album della cantante Diana Torti (non Torto, attenzione: sono due artiste diverse), On a Cloud (Slam), fra brani originali e rivisitazioni di altre cantanti (Abbey Lincoln, Jeanne Lee) e pianisti (Monk, Waldron, Fats Waller). Il clima č assorto, concentrato, di un’eleganza ricercata anche proprio nel senso di incline alla sperimentazione, con qualche inflessione (specie sul finale) verso una forma piů prossima alla song in quanto tale. ALBERTO BAZZURRO www.lisolachenoncera.it/rivista/rubriche/su-di-corda/
Also in a duo with a classical guitar (Sabino De Bari) winds the new album by singer Diana Torti (not Torto, careful: they are two different artists), On a Cloud (Slam), between original songs and reinterpretations by other singers (Abbey Lincoln, Jeanne Lee) and pianists (Monk, Waldron, Fats Waller). The climate is absorbed, concentrated, elegance sought even in the sense of being prone to experimentation, with some inflection (especially at the end) towards a form closer to the song as such. ALBERTO BAZZURRO www.lisolachenoncera.it/rivista/rubriche/su-di-corda/


01/05/2019 Ken Cheetham

I last encountered Diana Torti on Lucia Ianniello’s Live at Acuto Jazz, which I reviewed enthusiastically in December 2017. I described the music as ‘hugely melodious’ and I must say that the vocalist has grown her musical stature at that time into something enormous.

She has in fact taken on, with On a Cloud, a tribute to avant-garde jazz singer Jeanne Lee, some tracks drawing from Jeanne Lee herself, Abbey Lincoln, Monk, Mal Waldron and Fats Waller. Here, Monk’s Misterioso also recalls his acknowledgement to Gertrude Stein’s poetry, as well as Torti’s own credit to Lee, who recorded the same with pianist Ran Blake. She even performed it solo, live, at Jazz at Entermedia, a three‐night festival at the Entermedia Theatre, NY, led by Don Cherry. The New York Times wrote (March 4, 1979):

‘Jeanne Lee's solo set was quiet, but spellbinding. The highlight was the remarkable version of Thelonious Monk's difficult “Misterioso,” sung with exquisite intonation using a text by Gertrude Stein.’

It is a very fine challenge that Torti has attempted and she has prevailed with it, brilliantly.

The unusual accompaniment by classical guitar adds volumes to the already extended range of vocal sounds, mellifluous and open, which Torti employs,using her voice more as an instrument. She’ll be spirited, articulate and resonant one moment, shadowy and bottomless the next. Together they are both amiably playful and gravely intimate, their individual interpretations of the songs giving them both ownership.
Ultimately though, her enthralling voice and phenomenal technique claim the album for Torti’s accolade.

Reviewed by Ken Cheetham http://www.jazzviews.net/diana-torti---on-a-cloud.html


01/05/2019 Stefano Dentice

Sometimes some musicians fear to undertake bad musical paths, in favour of much more comfortable, oleographic paths, in all probability in order to more easily collect the consents of the public.
This consideration cannot be traced back to the imaginative singer / composer Diana Torti and to the audacious guitarist / composer Sabino de Bari , both authors of a rather singular record project of considerable interest, entitled "On a cloud".
In this CD there are ten tracks, of which "The Man Of The Sea", "On A Cloud" (ninth track of the disc) and "Cavalcando" born from the vocalist's compositional ubertosity , while "Mysterious" (Thelonious Monk, Gertrude Stein and Diana Torti), "Straight Ahead" (Abbey Lincoln), "Raskňlnikov" (Sabino de Bari), "In These Last Days" (Jeanne Lee), "The Seagulls Of Kristiansund" (Mal Waldron), "Honeysuckle Rose" ( Fats Waller) and "Fireflies" (Diana Torti - Sabino de Bari) complete the tracklist . The mood of "Raskňlnikov" is magnetic. The tensed vocalese and the peculiar scat of Diana Torti leave with bated breath, supported by the comping rich, stimulating and imaginative chiselled by de Bari. "The Man Of The Sea" is a composition characterized by a cryptic climax . Here the vocalist alternates in an excellent way the spoken word to the cantato, giving life to a tendentially theatrical interpretation, powered by timbral nuances and intervals of excellent workmanship.
With a clear free and avant-garde jazz imprint , "On a cloud" is an album full of harmonious gibes, based on a constant search for a true interplay . A record that represents an inclined synopsis of impromptu improvisation, that fruit (really) of the inspiration and creativity of the moment.
Stefano Dentice http://www.romainjazz.it/index.php/recensioni/546-diana-torti-w-sabino-de-bari-on-a-cloud?fbclid=IwAR1Okxdk4NjCRdmQKda2Tcoci6--vf7CUhM9QLbyYQ9OU2EaN6SZsoUl8jA


01/03/2019 Brian Morton

It was a relief to open the gatefold halfway through listening to this and encountering the name of Jeanne Lee, since that is exactly what I had been thinking since the first few uncanny measures of “Misterioso”. The title is taken from a comment by Jeanne’s daughter Cavana, who said that’s how she felt when she first heard her mother sing. The Newest Sound Around recordings Lee made with Ran Blake have been in circulation again, which makes this music seem all the more urgently of the moment. Torti and her collaborator – interesting to hear a guitar rather than piano accompaniment – have gone right to the heart of the Lee/Blake collaboration, with its nourish intimacies and brave harmonic manoeuvres.
I was taken aback by “Raskolnikov”, which offers an unusual sense of Dostoevsky’s anti-hero, if that, indeed, was the intention, but forget the title and it’s a dazzling vocal performance over a wonderful low, burbling line from de Bari. I love to distraction Mal Waldron’s “The Seagulls of Kristiansund”, so was delighted to hear arrangement of another musician who understood singers inside out. Jeanne Lee’s own “In These Last Days” (you maybe know the version with Andrew Cyrille and Jimmy Lyons) was a super-brave choice and she pulls it off magnificently. Likewise her own titular tribute.
But the wonder of this set, heard a second and third time, is the sheer range of sound de Bari gets out of his classical guitar, which seems to have as many tonal and textural personalities as there are songs here. He has it sounding like a bass, a plucked cello, a piano, a flamenco guitar, all within a few minutes; astonishing.
Not your average chanteuse album and not a Broadway song in sight. Don’t miss out on it because of that. It’s worth an hour of anyone’s time.
Brian Morton, Jazz Journal March 2019.


21/02/2019 Suzanne Lorge

When Italian singer Diana Torti first heard
Jeanne Lee she had an epiphany: singers could explore
the uncharted terrain of free material too. Torti, an
imaginative improviser who responds easily to musical
impulse in the moment, just released her sixth album,
On A Cloud (SLAM), featuring classical guitarist Sabino
de Bari accompanying her on standards (“Honeysuckle
Rose”) and originals inspired by Lee’s work
(“Fireflies”). Torti’s fresh sound—open and lilting—
pays a notable homage to Lee’s vocal tradition in what
would have been the singer and poet’s 80th birthday
year. In explaining her fascination with Lee, Torti
writes, “We should revisit her story, hoping to see the
reissue of some of the albums where she has
collaborated—the beauty of sharing will be enriched
with further treasures.” Torti’s new release goes a long
way toward that enrichment.


16/02/2019 Guido Festinese

The vocalist Diana Torti tells: “The first time that I heard Jeanne Lee’s voice I felt like I was on a cloud”. The phrase was originally told her by Jeanne Lee’s daughter, talking about relationship with her mother. And a vaporous cloud of wonder without fear of crossing avant-garde lands is Torti's recording for her, On a cloud, which travels accompanied only by Sabino de Bari's classic guitar inventiveness, published by SLAM Records on the occasion of the celebration of the 80th anniversary of Lee’s birth. Guido Festinese, Alias “il manifesto” 16th February 2019
Racconta la vocalist Diana Torti : “La prima volta che ho sentito la voce di Jeanne Lee mi sono sentita su una nuvola”. La frase le era stata detta in origine dalla figlia stessa di Jeanne, parlando dei rapporti con sua madre. E una nuvola vaporosa di meraviglia senza paura di attraversare anche terre d’avanguardia e’ il disco di Torti per lei, On a cloud, che viaggia accompagnata solo dall’inventiva chitarra classica di Sabino de Bari, pubblicato da Slam Records in occasione di quello che sarebbe stato l’ottantesimo compleanno di Lee. Guido Festinese, Alias “il manifesto” 16th February 2019


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