Canto means "song", and on her sparkling new album of that name, Daniela Nardi pays tribute to Italian song, specifically the work of writers in the cantautori tradition of Italian pop and jazz songwriters. Her fluent and expressive vocal style brings fresh life to the material, and she is well-served by her group Espresso Manifesto. They comprise top musicians from Toronto (including her piano virtuoso husband Ron Davis, Mike Downes, Roger Travassos, and Kevin Barrett) and Italy. The album was recorded in Naples and at T.O.'s Revolution Recording, with Antonio Fresa producing. Horns and strings are used to create a rich and romantic sound. Nardi's previous album, The Songs of Paolo Conte, was a critical hit in Canada, the U.S., and Italy, and it's a safe bet this one will follow suit. Of note: an album highlight, "A Story Gone Wrong" ("Una Storia Sbagliata") is inspired by the controversial death of Italian film legend Pier Paolo Pasolini. Her version has generated plenty of media attention in Italy.
The album was launched recently at Lula Lounge in Toronto. Nardi has upcoming shows at 120 Diner in Toronto on Nov. 18 and (with Ron Davis) on Jan. 27, and Rose Theatre in Brampton on Dec. 27. She is planning a workshop series for February, with spring/summer tour dates to follow.