Calabria Foti – A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening

Born into a family of musicians in upstate New York, Calabria Foti grew up wholly absorbed in music. With both of her parents being highly trained and enormously talented individuals, they passed many a nugget of musical prominence down to young Calabria and she soaked up the talent like a sponge.

By 12, Calabria was kicking butt in jazz clubs and singing with her parents and their associates. She already knew how to groove on several instruments, including a serious knack for the violin. Drenched and baptized in jazz and classical, young Ms. Foti had her destiny carved out for her at a very early age. With influences from Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland, Calabria knew she wanted to connect with an audience and touch hearts in the same way those great singers had done.

Fast-forward to present day and Ms. Foti is using her incredible understanding of music to do just that.

2005 saw her debut record, When a Woman Loves a Man, pick up plenty of accolades. Ms. Foti was getting noticed. By the time her second record (2007’s A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening) dropped, she was receiving praise from the masters of the industry.

“One of my great pleasures in life is listening to a beautiful voice. This recording of Calabria Foti’s voice is some of the most beautiful and artistic music I have ever heard,” said Johnny Mathis. That’s right, that Johnny Mathis.

With similar words of praise from the likes of Johnny Mandel, Chris Botti, Jorge Calandrelli, and Dave Koz, it’s safe to say that Ms. Foti’s dreams of touching hearts have become realized.

A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening is, if you’ll absolve the truly obvious cliché, just that. With ten elegant songs, Calabria’s second album is a sultry and silky album certain to steam up the windows.

Ms. Foti’s enchanting voice coos over the tender bossa nova gait of “Love Me as Though There is No Tomorrow,” a song once recorded by Mathis. Her intonations of longing for love are stunning, as is the arresting nylon string guitar solo from Larry Koonse.

Calabria continues in that fashion throughout the record, charming listeners with her take on Cole Porter’s “All of You” and unleashing an impressive rendition of a Peggy Lee medley (“When Lights are Low/Linger in My Arms”).

Calabria Foti’s second album is a scorcher. Destined for greatness, her voice is capable of enchantment and the graceful way in which she achieves her exquisite sounds deserves more than a few listens. A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening is also A Lovely Way to Spend an Afternoon or A Lovely Way to Spend a Morning. For great vocal jazz at any time of the day or night, look no further than Calabria Foti.

8/10

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