Roberta De Francia and The Band – M-East-Ery Park
Today I took a listen to M-East-Ery Park from the very charming London-based Italian Roberta De Francia and her band made up of Peter Bakaja on bass, James Taylor on drums, Jozef Berk on percussion, and Martino Scovacricchi on sax and cello.
Many influences heard right from the start. The heavy use of the percussion mixed with guitar at some points reminded me of the flamenco style of The Gipsy Kings, while at other times a more reserved singer/songwriter vibe. The bass and the sax add just the right amount of jazz to the mix. A lot of the melodies are quirky, and most of them, in the very least, are fun to listen to.
Roberta adds much personality with her singing. She often compliments the varied instrumentation with her voice, like on “Camera, Lipstick, Action” where she hums along with the sax. “April’s Smile” is the jazziest tune on here with drums, bass, and guitar all played in the pocket, and a beautiful sax solo right before the first verse. I found “Five Fibs Fire” to be not only my favorite song, but also the most interesting sounding. It starts off with a mesmerizing hard-to-describe rhythm that provides the backdrop for Roberta to do her thing.
M-East-Ery Park is a solid indie World-music album composed and performed by musicians with obvious passion and talent to match. Definitely a band worth keeping on your radar.