That Toronto has been brimming with musical talent has been the city’s worst-kept secret. The malaise that has affected the arts in the face of sports madness is yet another reason why the most magical artists the city has pass like ghostly ships in the night. It is not an anomaly; it’s just a kind of apathy for the beauty of art that exists in a beautiful city that the entertainment of the night – any night – is consumed and ruled by Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment and the Blue Jays in fall, winter and summer. The legend of those sports teams gobbles up money – and in a twist of conspiracy theories all my own – and most of the government money as well, leaving the arts scene strangled and suffering. That such beauty in artistry should survive in Jane Bunnett, Hilario Durán, Michael Occhipinti, Emilie-Claire Barlow and – among a long list of artists that include Daniela Nardi is, indeed a minor miracle.
Daniela Nardi is wont to stay within the confines of a narrow, yet sensuously smoky bandwidth. Nardi has a wider range and I like the spiky precision that she hits her notes however, she is no slouch when it comes to bite and irony or in beauty of voice either. Not surprisingly Daniela Nardi can captivate the heart with her voice. She can rock a rather fast, swinging chart (Senza Paura), wallow in the melancholia of a profoundly beautiful narrative (A Story Gone Wrong); she can sing with equal facility in English and French although I suspect that she is more comfortable in Italian. This is something unique about Toronto – that it has the wherewithal as a hub of Canadian entertainment – to spell the name of someone like Daniela Nardi, who might be considered a niche musician in lights across the marquee; even for someone with such an acquired taste like me who understands very little Italian.
This record, Canto can have that magical effect on a listener – even one who cannot really follow Italian, or, for that matter, French. Nardi is superb throughout. She has exquisite arrangements to work with and her ensemble is also first rate. Mark well, these are musicians about whom little is known and celebrated. The album will go a long way in bringing much attention to their work. Daniela Nardi deserves that more than anyone else. Something tells me that her fortunes are about to change. Canto will be a pivotal album for this talented chanteuse. I await her next venture and can picture that as an English language one. Judging by the dusky English language songs on Canto that will be a whole new ballgame for the emerging star.
Track List: Punto; Giovanni Telegraphista; Senza Paura; Tout L’Amour; A Story Gone Wrong; Guidizi Unirversali; Giri e Rigira; Beautiful That Way; Oublions Nous; Amami Ancora; Canzone Per Te.
Personnel: Daniela Nardi: voice, piano (track 7 ); Ron Davis: piano (tracks 5, 11), organ (tracks 4, 6); Mike Downes: bass; Roger Travassos: drums, percussion; Kevin Barrett: guitars; Gabriele Mirabassi: clarinet; Fabrizio Bosso: trumpet, flugelhorn; Roberto Natullo: flute; Antonio Fresa: Wurlitzer, Rhodes, organ (tracks 3, 4), piano (tracks 1, 4, 6); Pino Tafuto: piano (track 3) Robertiñho Bastos: percussion Marco Pacassoni: vibes/marimba; Louis Simao: vocals (3, 7); Gianfranco Campagnoli: trumpet; Alessandro Tedesco: trombone; Gaetano Campagnoli: alto saxophone; Annibale Guarino: tenor saxophone; Violins: Armand Priftuli, Gennaro Cappabianca; Salvatore Lombardo; Erika Jyartas; Pasquale Murino, Giovanna Maggio, Domenico Mancino; Violas: Guiseppe Navelli, Luciano Barbieri; Cellos: Fusco Silvano, Aurelio Bertucci; Songs arranged, orchestrated and conducted by Antonio Fresca.
Record Label: eOne Music
Release date: October 2015
Running time: 53:09
Buy music on: amazon