To say that Dave Tofani has been around the block a few times would be an understatement. Having performed with the likes of John Lennon, Quincy Jones, and Frank Sinatra, Tofani is one of the most sought after performers in New York City. This is Tofani’s second release and is about as diverse as his various musical associations. Each track is unique in and of itself. "An American Garden"
is reminiscent of early Maynard Ferguson arrangements with a touch of Chuck Mangione thrown in for good measure. A solid core of veteran musicians such as Marvin Stamm, Ronnie Cuber, Jay Leonart [who have played in various group settings], lay the foundation for Tofani to display his skills as an accomplished reedman. Solid drumming from Ronnie Zito.
A warm and sultry ballad, "New York At Night"
showcases Tofani’s tender side. His alto moves the melody along in a smooth and easy going manner. Controlled throughout, this three minute gem is a fine example of Tofani’s many talents.
The most engaging number is "Liberte"
. Here we find Tofani exploring various reeds including flutes, saxes and clarinets. After a few bars, the theme shifts to an Indian flavored melody along with scintillating tabla from Ray Spiegel, and percussion from Gordon Gottlieb. upon repeated listening, this number could be a soundtrack for a short movie. It’s all encapsulating rhythms and creative expression from Tofani leaves one breathless.
An American Garden has something for everyone. The fact that this is not a long album is irrelevant. Each piece offers a unique aural experience loaded with displays of expression, and honesty. Remember a few decades ago when songs were under three minutes and you had the feeling that the song was actually longer than it really was? This release serves it up in spades.