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Reviewers: Glyn Pursglove, Jonathan Woolf

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TOMMASO STARACE QUINTET

Eleuthera All That Jazz

MUSIC CENTER BA 406CD [39:22]

 

 

 

Never Stop

Colibrì

Blues for Eleuthera

A Flower is a Lovesome Thing

Yellow Tune

Parisian Thoroughfare

Julie

Cocodimama

Tommaso Starace (alto and soprano saxophones): Lamont Gibson (trumpet): Massimo Colombo (Fender Rhodes): Adrian D’Aguilar (bass): Kevin Dean (drums)

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 eight-track album.

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 melancholic unisons.

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.

Jonathan Woolf

 


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