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July 7 2022 10:17 AM ˚
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The sweet sound of Hetty and the Jazzato Band

Jean Claude Elias
Jean-Claude Elias is a computer engineer and a classically trained pianist and guitarist. He has been regularly writing IT articles, reviewing music albums, and covering concerts for more than 30 years.
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Hetty Loxston is an English vocalist who loves to sing in Italian. There is a good reason for that: the lady does it very, very well. In her repertoire one sometime finds old Neapolitan songs. اضافة اعلان

Hetty and the Jazzato Band is the name of the group that the singer leads and that accompanies her. The invented name, Jazzato, illustrates well the spirit and the wit that characterizes their music: funny, pleasant, peaceful, and enjoyable, jazz with an Italian flavor, and a lot of swing. Jazz music it is, certainly, but in the easy category. There is nothing too complicated or excessively sophisticated here. More than educating your ears, Hetty and the Jazzato aim to please them. Cool and relaxing are keywords here.

The recipe for success is simple: take good old, very popular Italian songs, essentially from the 1960s, with nice, catchy melodies, easy to memorize, and sing along to them; add a dash of easy jazz; mix and perform the whole with only a few basic instruments, so as to keep the set as minimalist as it can be; conclude with the icing on the cake, the jewel, the lovely voice of Hetty Loxston. Et voilà!

Loxston’s website defines her songs nicely and aptly: sultry Latin vintage songs.

One of the band’s early hits is the excellent rendition of Tu Vuo Fà l’Americano (You want to be an American), a song by Renato Carosone and Nicola Salerno that was a big hit in Europe in the late 1950s. The lyrics are in Neapolitan, not in Italian. Wikipedia defines it as “a Romance language of the Italo-Dalmatian group spoken across much of mainland Southern Italy”.

Watching the video on YouTube is a real delight; it delivers the typical sound of Loxston and her equally talented bandmates, combined with the visuals that convey the unique stage presence and spirited humor of the vocalist and her musicians. If this does not put you in a good mood, nothing will.

Pronouncing Neapolitan correctly is not for the faint hearted, but Loxston does it particularly well. She lived and studied in Italy for several years.

The English musician liked the results and applied the same formula to other well-known Italian songs from yesteryears: Tintarella di Luna, Mambo Italiano, That’s Amore, Volare, Love in Portofino, to name some. The band’s instruments consist of drums, an upright bass, a clarinet, and an electric jazz guitar. Sometimes a saxophone joins them. If you are talented, you do not need more to generate genuine swing. The joy, the liveliness, and the cheerful spirit of the musicians are infectious.
The recipe for success is simple: take good old, very popular Italian songs, essentially from the 1960s, with nice, catchy melodies, easy to memorize, and sing along to them; add a dash of easy jazz; mix and perform the whole with only a few basic instruments, so as to keep the set as minimalist as it can be; conclude with the icing on the cake, the jewel, the lovely voice of Hetty Loxston.
Continuing their success story, Hetty and the Jazzato Band have released an album titled Back in the Swing of Things. Essentially it follows in the steps of their early works and taps the traditional Italian repertoire, with one exception or two. Among the exceptions is Brucia la Terra, which is built on the music of the Godfather’s unforgettable movie theme composed by Nino Rota. It is better known in its English version as Speak Softly Love; it was sung by Andy Williams. It is still Italian music, of course, but is more recent that Renato Carosone’s and others compositions from the 1950s and the 1960s.

On the same album we find Quando, Quando, Quando (When, When, When), another well-known and popular Italian song that has been covered countless times by many artists and in several languages, including the English version by crooner Englebert Humperdinck. The original was penned by legendary Italian Tony Renis.

It is one of the most beautiful tracks on the album. Loxston’s interpretation is smart in the sense that although based on a song that was released in 1962, she manages to make it sound new, thanks to her very personal musical expression and style.

Credit must also go to the refined instrumental arrangements, and of course to the pristine digital recording, both elements that largely contribute to creating a fresh sound. Loxston succeeds in keeping the spirit of the original piece, while instilling a new musical flavor.

Hetty and the Jazzato Band are a good example of how covers of great old songs may be used to please and entertain the listener when done with taste, talent, and simplicity.


The writer is a computer engineer and a classically trained pianist and guitarist. He has been regularly writing IT articles, reviewing music albums, and covering concerts for more than 30 years.


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