The first thing you notice about Gabrielle Stravelli is her voice. The instrument is rich and resonant, flexible and precise, soulful and clean. Not one to play the obvious ingénue, Gabrielle uses this instrument to somehow sound both innocent and knowing at the same time. She meets American standards with fresh ears and a lot of know-how. She then tailors the songs to fit her personality in a way that is so complete as to make them sound utterly bespoke. She takes a lyric seriously, like a good actor, while retaining the freedom of melodic re-creation that is the jazz singer’s art. Gabrielle’s new compositions are professionally constructed but manage to take us to surprising places in the future. It is charming to hear someone so young with such excellent musical taste – and disarming to hear someone so utterly relaxed in this elevated context. This makes ‘Dream Ago’ a rare find.
Gabrielle Stravelli is, quite simply, the best singer you may never have heard of. She has the whole package: a fantastic instrument, great time, superb musicianship, perfect diction – and more importantly, she sings everything with a true depth of feeling. She is a real jazz singer, the mark of which is he ability to breath new life into classic standards like Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘It Might As Well Be Spring’ and Cole Porter’s ‘Dream Dancing.’ On every track, no matter what the groove or sentiment, we believe every word she sings. She has an astounding range and, more importantly, she applies myriad vocal colors for each performance. She is a gifted composer/lyricist as well, contributing most of the material on the album in conjunction with her partner in music and life, Pat O’Leary. Some of these tunes may become standards some day – they are memorable, heartfelt and given terrific readings. Singing in front of a fantastic and swinging band, Gabrielle proves on ‘Dream Ago’ that she is one of the top vocalists on the music scene today.”
A pretty swinging affair. With this outing, Gabrielle Stravelli proves herself to be a quadruple threat and force to be reckoned with: singer, musician, lyricist and actress. With a well-trained voice, an impressive range and a controlled vibrato, she and her estimable colleagues literally run the gamut of musical styles here: scat-to-opera, primitive-to-modern, low-tech, high-tech. She reaches such a dramatic intensity that I almost have to place her in Sondheim strata. What can you say? What a voice!