Roberta on the Arts
Cara Campanelli: So Near
Contact Roberta
Jazz and Cabaret Corner
On Location with Roberta
In the Galleries: Artists and Photographers
Backstage with the Playwrights and Filmmakers
Classical and Cultural Connections
New CDs
Arts and Education
Onstage with the Dancers
Offstage with the Dancers
Upcoming Events
Special Events
Culture from Chicago
Our Sponsors

Cara Campanelli: So Near

- CD Reviews

75 9th Avenue
Chelsea Market
New York, NY 10011
Mon-Sat 8-8, Sun.10-7
Fax: 212-633-9717

Unique Products from Italy!
Prosciutto, Pecorino, Pasta!
Coffees, Nuts, Marzipan!
Ask for Antonio!

Cara Campanelli: So Near
Produced by Jojo David
Recorded at Futura Studios, MA

Cara Campanelli on Vocals
Adam Birnbaum on Piano
Greg Gagnon on Guitar
Greg Loughman on Bass
Jimmy Elcock on Percussion

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 7, 2013

This CD is a lush selection of vocal ballads, composed by Rodgers and Hart, Irving Berlin, Charlie Chaplin, and Cole Porter, among many other renowned retro composers and lyricists. Cara Campanelli keeps each of the eleven tracks pure and uncluttered, to spotlight her vocals, by limiting musical accompaniment to solo guitar, piano, percussion, or bass, while offering generous instrumental interludes as well. (Jimmy Elcock is showcased on percussion on track #6, Temptation).

Notable tracks:

#2 – Reaching for the Moon – Composed by I. Berlin. Greg Loughman, on bass, converses with Ms. Campanelli in practically sighing musical shadows, as this Berlin ballad is sung in mesmerizing tones. Every lyric is clear and enchanting, drawing the listener close, like a confidante.

#3 – Speak Low – Composed by O. Nash, K. Weill. Ms. Campanelli reaches beyond Greg Gagnon’s guitar tones to expand and illuminate her musicality, with lovely effect. The song is unhurried and candlelit, sometimes whispered, sometimes crooned.

#5 – My Romance – Composed by R. Rodgers, L. Hart. Mr. Gagnon, on guitar, and Ms. Campanelli share the theme here, with hushed strings and breezy vocals, in rapturous momentum. Ms. Campanelli extends the ballad for easygoing vocal styling and for emotional impact of the lyrics.

#11 – Smile – Composed by C. Chaplin, J. Turner, G. Parsons. Ms. Campanelli and Adam Birnbaum team up for this final track (among others), and Mr. Birnbaum plays a soulful piano theme, in the midst of a very poignant track. This music is nurturing and entrancing.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at