“This album is a pure gem (…)”
Peter McLaren – Jazz In Europe


Con Alma was inspired by some of the leading figures in the history of jazz music, the first and foremost being Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Closely tied with African tradition and African-American music, this project celebrates the strong relationship between composition and poetry, through an intense story that is at once dynamic, evocative and contemporary. Its descriptive strength lies in the close relationship between voice, lyrics and music, as celebrated in songs like Caged Bird Sings of Freedom, music adaptation of the homonymous poem by Maya Angelou, and Melancholia. Con Alma pays tribute to the two composers not only by interpreting their compositions, mostly through a deep inspiration that lingers in all the pieces of the album. While intimate, the compositions move in visionary spaces, sometimes hypnotic, evoking oriental exoticism, some others impressionistic, which are distinctive traces of the original compositions; thus opening the musical dialogue to the European tradition.

Simona Parrinello vocals  |  Gianluca Di Ienno piano/fender rhodes  |  Marco Micheli double bass  |  Alessandro Rossi drums


1 BEATRICE – S. Rivers   ( 5.10)  2 CON ALMA – D. Gillespie (4.43) 3 MELANCHOLIA – S.Parrinello (4.15) 4 EVERYBODY’S SONG BUT MY OWN – K.Wheeler/J.White (6.07) 5 THE STAR- CROSSED LOVERS – B.Strayhorn (5.13) 6 INTRO ( 1.13) 7 GHOSTS – S.Parrinello/G. Di Ienno (7.15) 8 A FLOWER IS  A LOVESOME THING – B.Strayhorn (8.03) 9 MAN ON WIRE dedicated to Philippe Petit - G.Di Ienno /S. Parrinello (4.19) 10 CAGED BIRD SINGS OF FREEDOM- adaptation from a poem by Maya Angelou, music by S. Parrinello/G.Di Ienno (5.46) 11 THE STAR-CROSSED LOVERS Alternate – B. Strayhorn (4.44) 

All lyrics by Simona Parrinello except for Caged Bird Suite, A Flower is a Lovesome Thing and Everybody’s Song But My Own. All the arrangements are by Simona Parrinello and Gianluca Di Ienno except for A Flower is a Lovesome Thing and Con Alma by Simona Parrinello. Recorded at Entropya Studio, Perugia, on September 1st and 2nd 2014 by Gabriele Ballabio and Stefano Bechini. Mixed by Stefano Bechini in November 2014 at Entropya Studio, Perugia. Mastered by Stefano Bechini in February 2015 at Green Brain. Produced by Simona Parrinello. Photos by Elda Papa. Design by Legno.