Germana Stella La Sorsa: Vapour

London-based singer does Frank Zappa and Hermeto Pascoal plus originals, accompanied by guitarist Nick Costley-White and others

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The debut album from London-based singer Germana Stella La Sorsa sees the singer leading a small ensemble through a number of captivating tracks, with a powerful and refreshing vocal.

Over dissonant, spacious chords, La Sorsa opens with In The Beginning, combining clean electric guitar and breathy vocal, before being joined by drums and Hammond organ. The title track is an expressive piece, and La Sorsa’s haunting vocal line weaves in and out with chromatic and Phrygian phrases, and an intricate organ solo.

The fourth track is a cover of Frank Zappa’s Inca Roads, and the group presents a unique take. This version takes a slow drum intro with arpeggiated chords from guitar, followed by La Sorsa taking the piece’s main melody in unison with guitar. As La Sorsa sings the lyrics, the band maintain the relaxed atmosphere, quite distinct from the chaos of the original, with a clean guitar solo and intensifying but reserved effects.

For In Time And (S)Pace, the band take a more abstract approach, with reverberated cymbal crashes underpinning a chord progression over which La Sorsa sings a captivating ascending melody. The penultimate track is Hermeto Pascoal’s Tacho, with the group again taking a more gentle, laidback approach to the 7/4 groove, and with La Sorsa leading with a strong vocal through the complex phrases.

La Sorsa’s debut is an excellent recording, with exciting originals and inventive takes on well-chosen covers. Released on British label 33 Jazz, Vapour is available on a number of digital platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, and Bandcamp.

Discography
In The Beginning; Vapour; If I Fall In Love; Inca Roads; In Time And (S)Pace; Tacho; Following The Flow (32.52)
La Sorsa (v); Nick Costley-White (elg); Sam Leak (org); Jay Davis (d). London, 25 November 2019.
33 Jazz Records