Blues for Eleuthera
A Flower is a Lovesome Thing
Tommaso Starace (alto and soprano saxophones): Lamont Gibson (trumpet):
Massimo Colombo (Fender Rhodes): Adrian D’Aguilar (bass): Kevin Dean
Recorded April 2018, Bass Man Studios, Nassau, Bahamas
Recorded in the Bahamas, where he was playing a series of concerts at the
Eleuthera All That Jazz festival (hence the album title), this latest disc
from Italian saxophonist Tommaso Starace sees him teamed with his
compatriot Massimo Colombo and three Bahamian musicians for a 40-minute
There are three compositions apiece from the Italians, and two standards
from the pens of Billy Strayhorn and Bud Powell. Starace’s own Never Stop is a crisp and angular bop theme propelled by a tight
rhythm section and featuring the leader’s throaty sax. His soul-packed Blues for Eleuthera is a tightly arranged tribute to the host
festival, where he has performed before, and introduces trumpeter Lamont
Gibson and that excellent and tightly locked rhythm section once again.
There’s a real Nat and Cannonball feel to this one. And there’s a Calypso
feel to his final composition Cocodimama, a really high-spirited
closer that also happens to be the longest track.
Colombo’s pieces are Colibrì which has an immediately appealing
theme and a series of fine and rewarding solos and Yellow Tune –
which opens with the composer’s Fender solo, followed by catchy themes and
a loose-limbed relaxed feel, the horns gliding nicely over the Fender and
the crisp rhythm. His final piece is Julie where D’Aguilar’s
thoughtful bass (a tower of strength throughout) leads onto somewhat
Strayhorn’s A Flower is a Lovesome Thing is taken in a laid-back
way, Gibson’s muted trumpet over Fender and Starace’s keening soprano part
of a most sensitive arrangement, whilst Parisian Thoroughfare is
airy and affirmative, with the front-line unisons crisp as fresh hay.
Starace and confrères in his Quintet have an accomplished album to their
name, full of vitality, thoughtfulness and rhythmic variety.