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Sometimes an opera aficionado will turn to a gathering of family or friends (often uninterested) and say, ‘You really won’t believe this, it’s awful – you’ll love it!’; and yet again the sound of Florence Foster Jenkins’s caterwauling, or something equally unfortunate, is foisted upon the company. How childish, indeed unkind. Which leads me to Hibla Gerzmava’s new CD, Opera, Jazz, Blues: well, you really won’t believe this, it’s awful, (though I doubt anyone will love it). The estimable soprano sings with the Daniel Kramer Trio, an excellent jazz ensemble, and together they perform mainly operatic and classical standards. She has a lustrous and flexible voice, the ensemble is taut and snappy. Put them together and the effect is ghastly. Anyone in a jazz club would have to be halfway down their second bottle of whisky before this sounded appealing. Germava’s operatic tones sit most uncomfortably on the trio’s syncopations, so although individually effective, they mix as well as oil and water. Her scat version of Eine kleine Nachtmusik is a particular lowlight, and by the time she warbles Fly Me to the Moon, I would gladly pay for her ticket. One way.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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