Saturday, 30 July 2011

Tango - Gianluca Paganelli

Tango
Oscar Hammerstein II/Richard Rogers – No Other Love [3:08]
I Gado – Jealousy [3:04]
R Adler /J Ross – Hernando’s Hideaway [2:36]
A Villaldo /J.C.M. Catan/E.S.Discepolo /Trad/Arr M. George /L Mullen/D Dott/G Paganelli– El Choclo [2:44]
M George /L Mullen /D Ott /G Paganelli – Just for Tonight [4:18]
B Kampfert /E Snyder /C Singleton – Spanish Eyes [3:08]
JM Rodrigues /P Contursi /E.P Maroni – La Cumparsita [2.38]

F Schreier / A Bottero – Tango of Roses [2:23]
C Gardel / A Le Pera / Trad/arr M George / L Mullen / D Ott - Por una Cabeza [2:23]
J Gade – Jalousie [3:05]

F schreier / A Bottero - Tango Delle Rose
[3:15]
M George / L Mullen / D Ott / G Paganelli - Shine

Gianluca Paganelli (vocalist)

Mark George (Piano and Programming)

Daniel Ott (strings and programming)

Produced by Daniel Ott, Mark George and Lou Mullen

Recorded at Fairlight Mews, Kingston

MISCD004

Gianluca Paganelli isn’t a name that I’d come across before. He evidently won the Italian equivalent of “Britain’s Got Talent” and now, under the watchfully eye of Harry Cowell (who was responsible for signing Katharine Jenkins) is now aiming for the UK. This, his first UK disc, is entitled Tango and its theme is obvious; clearly the idea is to generate interest based upon Paganelli’s good looks and evident abilities to smoulder on camera.

But, before we get a little too disparaging, it has to be emphasised that he can actually sing; rather well indeed. Amongst the credits at the back of the booklet, Paganelli thanks his uncle, the baritone Ludovico Malavisi with whom he studied. That Paganelli has had some significant training is evident not just from the way he produces his voice, but that he sings with a fine sense of line and evident musicality. Given the nature of this disc, recorded in a studio with close miking, it is impossible to tell what Paganelli’s voice would be like live, without a microphone, but he certainly makes a nice product on disc.

Paganelli sings most of the songs in more than creditable English, with just enough of an Italian accent to make it delightfully attractive but without any awkward manglings. The remaining numbers are sung in Spanish and in Italian; texts and translations are helpfully provided.

The songs on the disc are rather a varied bunch; including a Rogers and Hammerstein number No Other Love from the 1953 show Me and Juliet, though I know it from Cinderella as I think it was used in some of the different versions of this show. Here Paganelli sings nicely enough but he and the arrangement rather over-do the tango which should, I think be more languid and relaxed.

Listening to this first track highlights one of the discs relative disappointments. Though the advance publicity makes something of Paganelli’s classical training, he has not been given a classical band as backing, simply a group of musicians with sequencers. The result is a little lacking in the tonal variation and subtlety that you’d get from a bunch acoustic instruments played live, here the backing sounds a little too resolutely intense in tone all the time. To get an idea what I mean, you only have to listen to one of any number of groups doing Piazolla, i.e. genuine tango rather than the synthetic Hollywood version.

The remaining tracks on the disc, by and large get the same treatment. I found some of them a little too short – I wanted more light and shade, and more time to listen to each song. Ultimately, despite Paganelli’s classical credentials, this is a high-end pop album aimed at a market where short bursts of high intensity music are what is required. This is a shame, because on this showing Paganelli would seem to be capable of a great deal more.

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