Michéle Ramo | Moonboat Records
By Jim Santella - All About Jazz
Born in the Italian Mediterranean fishing town of Mazara del Vallo on the west coast of Sicily, guitarist Mick Ramo learned to play music from his earliest childhood years. By age thirteen, he had entered the music conservatory, where he studied violin. Professional engagements with the Italian State Symphony Opera House followed. Then he met jazz. Today, he calls the US home and immerses himself in all kinds of jazz performance activities that employ both his violin and his guitars.
Ramo finds the artist alone with his six- and seven-string guitars, interpreting familiar songs and originals. Dedications to Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Jack Wilkins, Laurindo Almeida, Baden Powell, and Charlie Byrd flow gently and with heartfelt passion.
“Lush Life” demonstrates Ramo's love for passionate melody. He expresses the tune's lovely theme proudly and with clearly defined articulation. He's equally at home interpreting ballads, blues, early swing, and Brazilian themes. The guitarist's “Brazilian Dream” makes a stirring impression as its classical guitar texture blends with blues and jazz in an improvised spate of emotion. Ramos bends notes, scrapes, and chords with the technique of a vocal choir. In his hands, the guitar lights up like a symphony orchestra.
Jim Santella has been contributing CD reviews, concert reviews and DVD reviews to AAJ since 1997. His work has also appeared in Southland Blues, The L.A. Jazz Scene, and Cadence Magazine.