When I first became a professional musician, back in 1979, I spent my days touring Scandinavia continually. It was while I was there that I was introduced to the music of Gino Vannelli. Born in Montreal, and something of a prodigy, he began composing songs at the age of 15. I discovered his album ‘Brother to Brother’ – an absolute masterpiece, and have worked my way both backwards and forwards through his catalogue ever since. I remember the expectancy as I found his new album ‘Nightwalker’ in Oslo in 1980. He is the consummate perfectionist, and embraced new technology easily, which is probably why the production values on his early albums usually far exceeded those of his contemporaries, with perhaps the exception of Steely Dan. In the 1990’s he surprised the music world by revealing his operatic license in “Canto”, which heralds Vannelli’s superlative vocals in Italian, French, Spanish and English – truly a World Musician! He is a great lyricist, influenced by the great Walter Whitman, and possessed of a unique and powerful voice. his arrangements and chord choices are rooted in Jazz Rock, and I find it hard to pick a favourite track. So I’m going to go with two – the fabulous ‘Appaloosa’ from ’78’s ‘Brother to Brother’, and from ’80’s ‘Nightwalker’ the glorious ballad ‘Living inside Myself.’
Although the fashion sense of the 70’s is a bit questionable (!) -revel in a time when everybody on that stage was singing and playing LIVE.
In this songwriter’s opinion, one of the most beautiful ballads ever written.
These days he divides his time between the Netherlands and the United States.