Album: Across the Sea
Street Date: February 22nd, 2019
Label: Jando Music (Italy)

Across the Sea is the new collaborative album from award winning singer-songwriter Chiara Izzi and internationally acclaimed pianist and vocalist Kevin Hays. The multi-lingual, pan-stylistic 10-tune recital is brought to fruition by bassist and French hornist Rob Jost and drummer Greg Joseph, in the company of very special guests, Chris Potter on saxophone, Grégoire Maret on harmonica, Omer Avital on oud, Nir Felder on guitar and Rogério Boccato on percussion. A work of ingenuity, imagination and passion, Across the Sea is a visionary journey between jazz and pop, America and Italy, dream and lyricism. The album comprises well-wrought original pieces and lyrics by each protagonist and highly personalized interpretations of songs from composers and songwriters who both artists love and admire. Izzi and Hays will celebrate this release at Birdland Jazz Club on February 28th at 5:30pm.


Producer Enzo Capua was first introduced to the talent of Chiara Izzi at a festival in Rome, many years ago. Although envisioning and encouraging a prosperous career for her, Capua had never imagined that he would not only reconvene, but collaborate with his fellow Italian artist years later in New York City. Rounded-out by pianist Kevin Hays and producer Giandomenico Ciaramella - a producer true to his noble spirit and amazing instinct, as admired by Capua - this quartet is the result of two fortuitous encounters which fate had wisely planned over time: that of two musicians so distant and yet so inexorably close, and two producers joined by their visceral passion for the art of sound.


Across the Sea displays an alluring serendipity between Izzi and Hays. As Capua recalls, the synergy between the duo was so lucidly evident during both the creation and recording stages of the album - “so intense is their harmony, so strong the unity of purpose, so rapid is the intuition that these two musicians share”. Hays recognizes Izzi’s sense of sincerity and honesty - “She has an inner strength that I think is rare.” Delivering a vocal that carries a warm, Mediterranean quality, Izzi acknowledges that Kevin’s playing brings out her best assets as a storyteller, singer, musician, and human being. The pair’s compelling predominance of melody, osmosis between vocals and keyboards and the amazing confluence of their singing voices, is eminent on this new album. The French horn in the emblematic “Two for the Road”, the ancestral oud in the classic Davis/Lombardi tune “Tierna Nardis”, the punctual and decisive harmonica on Pat Metheny and Hays’ “James”, the caressing guitar in the Izzi-penned “Circles of the Mind” and the sinuous saxophone in the pair’s original "Viaggio Elegiaco", are just a few examples of what this converging work has to offer. While each of the compositions of course, have form which the pair respects, the music resembles a live conversation with continuous inputs, which makes the dialogue more interesting, unpredictable and fresh every time.


Described by Jazz Times as “a talent to be heard, admired and anticipated”, Chiara Izzi has developed a unique sonic interpretation of a fusion of different genres, including jazz, pop and Mediterranean sounds. Following her international debut performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition in 2011, at which Quincy Jones awarded her, the vocalist recorded her debut album Motifs (Dot Time Records). “Sister you are very, very talented. You should go to the U.S., Jones encouraged Izzi at this early point in her career. Izzi moved to New York and has since performed at The Blue Note NY, The Iridium, Apollo Theater, Aspen Jazz Festival, Jazzahead, Smalls, as well as the Italian Embassy in Washington DC. She has graced the stage with some of the finest musicians, including Leon Parker, Aaron Goldberg, Bruce Barth, Eliot Zigmund, Warren Wolf, Anthony Wonsey, among many others. The Italian singer has received remarkable appraisals from Quincy Jones, Bobby Watson, Benny Golson, Kevin Hays, Eliot Zigmund, Joel Frahm, Aaron Goldberg, David Kikosky, Greg Hutchinson, Jonathan Kreisberg and Dado Moroni.


Having released 15 recordings as a leader, Kevin Hays has received critical acclaim from publications such as The New York Times, Downbeat Magazine and Jazz Times, as well as a “Coup de Coeur” from the Académie Charles Cros (France). A prolific sideman appearing on over 60 records, Kevin’s long list of notable musical associations include records with Chris Potter, Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, and Al Foster. The New Day Trio is Kevin’s latest project with bassist Rob Jost (Bjork, Tony Scherr) and drummer Greg Joseph (Steve Kuhn, Art Garfunkel). Developing over a 2 year residency at New York’s 55 Bar alongside tours across the US and Europe, the trio emphasizes lyricism with a musical scope bridging Hays’ love of jazz, classical, blues, soul, folk and rock music.


Derived from liner notes written by Ted Panken.


# # #

"Across the Sea may not be perfect, but it may be the best chance you get this summer to breathing in the Meditterranean without leaving the comfort of your own home." Read the full review here.

"Perfect for soothing the wounds of the heart”. Read the full Italian review here

"Heavy on originals with a Euro slant, high tone listeners will enjoy this as well they should since it hits many of their marks."  Read the full review here.

"For Chiara Izzi, Across the Sea is a step forward in her professional career...but let us remember her rhythmic verve, vocal acrobatics and jazz talent, which we expect to hear on more occasions." Read the full Italian, 3.5 star review here.  

"The music on Across The Sea is modern, timeless, creative and accessible. It serves as an excellent introduction to the talented Chiara Izzi." Full review here

"Izzi has a wonderful range of expression, singing assuredly in three languages, sometimes with a girlish tinge that echoes Emiliana Torrini or almost Blossom Dearie." Read the full review here.

"Their voices blend together beautifully..." Read the full review here.

Pianist Hays duets with the young Italian singer Chiara Izzi on a repertoire of standards and originals.  Read the full review here

"She does wonders with a personal read of Pat Metheny’s “James” teamed with Maret, and seamlessly enters the room after Hays’ intro to “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.”  Read the full review here.

"Across the Sea is Chiara Izzi’s second album but she and Kevin Hays have such poise and personality and undiluted talent and—I’ll say it again—charm that one could easily think that this was their tenth album together. They are perfect together."  Read the full review here.

"Chiara Izzi has a voice full of innocence and passion that immediately garnered my consideration. [Across the Sea] adds world music to the mix and invites us to open our minds and hearts to how music crosses all boundaries and how it joins us, like love, across the continents and worldly divides."  Read the full review here.

Stream the premiere of "Viaggio Elegiaco" here

"The natural synergy between the duo is clearly apparent throughout the entire recording, with a joyous spirit evident for all to hear." Read the full 4/5 review here.