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Tommaso Starace Plays the Photos of Elliott Erwitt by Tommaso Starace

When I received this CD in the mail from London, England, I was curious what I had received. To my delight, it is a collection of original jazz compositions by saxophonist Tommaso Starace, and the musicians, music, and performances are top-notch.

For a debut collection, this CD is outstanding in all ways. Tommaso Starace's quartet is superb, and the playing is flawless.

This collection is inspired by the photographic art of Elliott Erwitt, and the eight songs reflect Tommaso Starace's interpretations of these unusual photos. The photographs are shown in the flyer which accompanies the CD. Some of the photos represent work by Elliott Erwitt going back to his early career in the 1950s. Erwitt is an internationally known photographer.

The music and performances fit nicely into the realm of straight-ahead classic. The eight songs are "Keep Moving Please!," "Set Me Free (Lament of a Mannequin)," "Goodbyes," "Tickets...Please!," "Spinning Out of Control," "Felix, Gladys and Rover," "Loving Gloves," and "Tongue in Cheek."

What places this collection in a class all of its own is its ability to give the jazz listening audience excellent performances and excellent songs in a manner that is refreshingly imaginative, and both entertaining and enjoyable. This quartet knows how to play!

These songs are long, each a creative adventure in jazz motifs. For instance, "Loving Gloves" has a running time of seven minutes and fifty-three seconds. This is a showcase piece for the group, and the composer. Every second heard counts, every second of play time is memorable. Tommaso Starace gives perfect saxophone performances. Roger Beaujolais is wonderful with his stylings on the vibraphone. Liam Noble is a subtle, fine pianist, and his style is one that puts him in the front among those pianists whose talents are intricate and fresh. Julian Bury has a fine touch on bass and is a genuine jazz force with a memorable bass style all his own. As to Jim Hart on drums, there is a touch of Buddy Rich to those exciting drum licks that sets him apart from the current herd of young drummers. Each player is perfect in the role he plays in this quartet.

If you want something new and refreshingly original, give this quartet a listening to! Tommaso Starace is sensational as a performer and composer. Highly recommended.

You'll enjoy this collection throughout the years ahead, for it is a great example of how a jazz quartet should sound! Pure entertainment!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Tommaso Starace
  • CD Title: Tommaso Starace Plays the Photos of Elliott Erwitt
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Frame
  • Tracks: Each song is an original composition by Tommaso Starace. The songs have a wonderful enjoyment that is a genuine pleasure to listen to.
  • Musicians: Tommaso Starace (leader, composer, alto and soprano saxophones), Roger Beaujolais (vibraphone), Liam Noble (piano), Julian Bury (bass) and Jim Hart (drums)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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