From the moment she first burst on to the stage with an up tempo medley of “Lady Luck” and “If You’ve Got the Money, I’ve Got the Time,” Stravelli...engaged and enthralled the audience with her clear, self-assured voice and warm, infectious smile. Above all, Stravelli is a singer who honors the lyrics. Willie Nelson once described country music as “Three chords and the truth.” Stravelli gets that and she brilliantly conveys the emotional truth—whether joy, or in the case of so many country tunes, heartbreak—behind each song...Two additional highlights were a pair of Nelson’s best known, most popular songs, the beloved Hoagy Carmichael standard “Stardust” and the honky tonky favorite “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys.”...Gabrielle Stravelli, a brilliantly talented artist in her own right, succeeds in creating completely new works of art while honoring Nelson’s achievements.
Pick Up My Pieces: Gabrielle Stravelli Sings Willie Nelson picks up on the finer qualities of the chart-topping country singer-songwriter/guitarist. Stravelli, who’s done this kind of thing before (John Fogerty, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder), gives much more of herself than expected...Stravelli brought her actor’s training to Willie Nelson’s music, lifting much of the darkness, telling her own stories, and exploring every inch of the vocal scale — from the top to the bottom. Not a lot of singers, even the great ones, can accomplish that.
Much like her subject, Willie Nelson, Gabrielle Stravelli has stuck to her artistic vision, and gone forward where others might have compromised or thrown in the towel. Her program of songs written by and/or associated with Willie Nelson found her reconceiving the Nelson material in a jazz context with intelligence, imagination, musicality and a voice that equaled all of the challenges that the material presented.
Listening to the jazz singer Gabrielle Stravelli is like imbibing a potent cocktail whose flavor changes as you drain the glass. In the first couple of sips, the predominant taste is the sparkling wine that has drifted to the top, for Ms. Stravelli’s bright, rippling voice exudes a natural effervescence. Before long, it darkens, and the heady liquor underneath kicks in...As she dipped and swooped, twirling notes and phrases with a confidence and playfulness that recalled Ella Fitzgerald in her prime, Ms. Stravelli began interpreting lyrics with a ferocity that her vocal pyrotechnics accentuated...
Ms. Stravelli’s emotional intelligence coincides with a phenomenal voice that she wielded with an easygoing confidence and impeccable taste. Her clear, rounded timbre, reminiscent at times of Ella Fitzgerald’s, didn’t strain for effect. A formidable scat improviser, she held back enough so that I never felt that she was indulging in empty display. Her twirling of notes and phrases infused her performance with extra energy. She swings playfully, without seeming to try...The high point of Tuesday’s show was a mash-up of Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More”; “Tomorrow” (from “Annie”); and the tough, wised-up “Now You Know” (from “Merrily We Roll Along”). They added up to a statement about living on hope and learning to accept reality. It was one of the most ambitious such juxtapositions I can remember.
This outstanding singer is already a veteran of the New York club scene but still young enough to improve with every appearance—even though she’s already one of the best around. Her current show starts in a manner reminiscent of her director-mentor, the brilliant Marilyn Maye, with a fast, swinging jazz waltz medley (“While We’re Young” fused to “Happy Talk”), which proves that it’s no sin to learn from the best. Over the course of the too-short set, she comes increasingly into her own, particularly with a sequence of contemporary songs and a blues original titled “Runnin’ Back for More.
Jazz vocalist Gabrielle Stravelli’s third album, Dream Ago, was the core subject of an intimate performance at The 75 Club...where she proved that having fun needn’t mean skimping on rigor. From her delectable original “Cake of My Childhood” to Cole Porter’s “Dream Dancing” (seamlessly arranged by O’Leary), the positive vibrations of Stravelli’s musical mind activated the room with their inspiration.
Irresistibly polished and triumphant. Let’s hope she’s primed for national appreciation.
Gabrielle Stravelli has a groovy ‘70s-chick vibe and a supple, versatile voice that can navigate multiple genres with ease; think Joyce DeWitt with bona fide pop-jazz chops...She mixes original songs into a set of standards old and new.
Go ahead, name a more exciting chanteuse who’s hit the town with all engines firing in the last 5 or 10 years. When this one belts, traffic stops across town. She may be little but the effect couldn’t be bigger as she gives songs from myriad genres the once-over. You think Haley or Lauren on American Idol have what it takes? This gal has more, and takes it right before your very eyes.
Stravelli expertly combines tremendous musicianship, poise, a nice variety of song choices, and a welcoming presence on stage. Never does her polish sacrifice the sheer joy she exudes while on stage; nor does her skill in music keep her from communicating directly to her audience, which is sometimes the case with jazz singers who get so entranced in the music that they become part of the band—and the audience suffers. Not so here.
Singer Gabrielle Stravelli captured our hearts for good the other night at The Drawing Room, with her combination of absolute accuracy and total abandon. She dove deep into the music, balancing tenderness and tough, exuberant swing. If she’s new to you, prepare to be uplifted; if you know her work, this was an especially gratifying performance.
For my money, Gabrielle Stravelli is one of the most impressive jazz singers in town. With perfect pitch and clarity, she tears through the Great American Songbook with an understanding far beyond her years. A background in the theater doesn’t hurt, either. While other jazz birds swing, scat and snap, eyes scrunched in a self-absorbed frenzy, Stravelli knows whereof she sings — charming her audience with intelligence and musicality…
If you think you are a jazz singer, come to see Gabrielle Stravelli and see what the real deal is and then ask yourself if what you do is jazz. What she does... is play with time; she bends melodic lines; she allows space to “speak”; she has a dead on tone that goes right to the nucleus of a note and she has the ability to still interpret a lyric while using all these jazz tools and styling effects. In a word, she is IMPRESSIVE!She is also an amazing new songwriter...Along with co-writers, Jason Robinson and Pat O’Leary, two of my favorite tunes were their originals, “Runnin’ Back for More” and “Didn’t You Tell Me”. Both have a vocalese approach to them with very clever lyrics....Gabrielle Stravelli is a real jazz singer who does not sound like anyone else yet she is a creation of all who came before her and she’s a wonder.
If you’re looking for the next Bette Midler or Amy Winehouse, she’s not it. What she is, is the first Gabrielle Stravelli and that’s so, so much better. Right now she’s hotter than the equator.