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DOMINICK FARINACCI

Short Stories

MACK AVENUE MAC1112

 

 

 

 

1. Bamboleo

2. Seņor Blues

3. Soldier's Things

4. Doha Blues

5. Sunshine Of Your Love

6. Tango

7. Somebody That I Used To Know

8. Afternoon In Puebla

9. Black Coffee

10. Parlour Song

Dominick Farinacci - Trumpet (tracks 1-10), flugelhorn (track 2)

Larry Goldings - Piano (tracks 1, 3-6, 8-10), organ (tracks 1, 5, 9), celesta (track 10)

Christian McBride - Acoustic bass (tracks 1, 3-6, 8-10)

Steve Gadd - Drums (tracks 1, 3-9)

Dean Parks - Guitar (tracks 1, 3-6, 8, 9)

Jamey Haddad - Percussion (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8)

Gil Goldstein - Accordion (tracks 1, 4, 6, 8)

Jacob Collier - Vocal, electronic instruments (track 2, 7)

Gabe Bolkosky - Violin, section leader

Leah Ferguson - Viola

Sawyer Thomson - Cello

Heidi Ruby-Kushious - Alto Flute

Brianne Sharkey - Bass Flute

Thomas Reed - Bass clarinet (tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9)

Mike Massy - Vocals (track 4)

Mark Maudlin - Trombone (track 1)

It would be difficult to describe trumpeter, composer and big band leader Dominick Farinacci as a 'new kid on the block' even if there are those to whom he is presently unfamiliar. After all, this is the ninth album for the Ohio-born, award winning, musician. His debut disc was issued in 2003 (Manhattan Dreams) and, apart from his music, he has been building a reputation as a jazz educator and humanitarian. None other than Wynton Marsalis has named him 'Global Ambassador to Jazz at the Lincoln Center'. He has actually led the Lincoln Center expansion in Doha, the capital of Qatar, and is interested in the contribution music makes to health. Among his early jazz influences were Louis Armstrong and Harry James and, for my money, it shows in his playing. This is not to label him a throwback of any kind. Clearly he has assimilated more modern styles such as Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan, too. In fact, he featured in a tribute concert to those particular stars of jazz trumpet, held at the Lincoln Center. Among the group playing with him on this CD are some other fine musicians. They include the vastly experienced and influential drummer in both jazz and pop music, Steve Gadd, the pianist and organist, Larry Goldings, and the virtuoso bass player, Christian McBride. There are also a couple of appearances by a rising star from the British scene, singer and wizard of electronic music, Jacob Collier. The arrangements on the disc are shared by Farinacci, Goldings and Collier respectively, and two of the compositions are by the trumpet player.

I've mentioned Farinacci's debt to an earlier era. The purity and precision of the trumpeter prompt the reflection that not many contemporary players of the instrument perform quite like this. It is a refreshing experience. I especially liked a composition by the singer Dianne Reeves, entitled Tango. Early on, there's a definite Iberian flavour about the melody. The whole thing, though, is played with relaxed finesse by Dominick and the gang, with Larry Goldings particularly conspicuous. Another highlight is a Burke and Webster tune that many will associate with Peggy Lee, Black Coffee. This treatment gives the string section the opportunity to shine (not always an easy task on a jazz CD) and here they are at their best. Farinacci's muted trumpet evokes a real taste of the blues, and Goldings manages to channel the spirit of Earl Hines on piano but also to display a groovy organ technique. Fabulous. Bamboleo has a distinct New Orleans feel about it. On Horace Silver's Seņor Blues, Jamey Haddad on percussion is to the fore. Jacob Collier supplies vocals and electronics very effectively while Farinacci is on flugelhorn. Appropriately, given the composer, this recording could have come from the Blue Note stable. The Tom Waits song, Soldier's Things, is played immaculately by Farinacci whose trumpet captures the mood of the material well.

Doha Blues reflects not only the link Farinacci has to Qatar but his interest in music from the Middle East. This seemed to me rather less successful than other tracks, despite noteworthy contributions from trumpet, guitar and percussion. Sunshine Of Your Love is marked by discreet but telling organ from Goldings and some splendid bass from the always interesting Christian McBride. Farinacci is again first-rate. Somebody That I Used To Know is quite distinctive. Jacob Collier returns, providing electronic and vocal sounds, the vocal chorus especially put me in mind of Weather Report. There is a real lilt to this track, aided in no small part by the leader's intriguing trumpet style. Afternoon In Puebla has a Latin flavour. There is much to enjoy, from high register trumpet to a striking solo from Larry Goldings and imaginative interaction between Steve Gadd on drums and Jamey Haddad as percussionist. The final piece, Parlour Song, is endowed with the nostalgia that its title suggests. It is a very brief curiosity, written by Larry Goldings.

This album will appeal to those who appreciate old school, straight-ahead jazz played to a high standard. Others who seek a more experimental approach to the music will still find enough to interest and engage them. Certainly, Dominick Farinacci seems to

be going places.

James Poore

 


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