Ferdinando Argenti: Argenti (2004)

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His developmental environments have helped to determine the eclectic nature of Ferdinando Argenti's small group jazz album. As a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, the pianist has immersed himself in the world of improvisation. His piano trio original "Pisa Nova" smokes. As a native of Pisa, Italy who grew up listening to his father's record collection, Argenti has a full grasp of swing. When he sings and explores the keyboard, you can hear evidence of his admitted influential forces: Frank Sinatra and Chet Baker.

The five vocal numbers on the program balance Argenti's lush piano explorations with comfortable, down-home expression. An ordinary singer in most respects, Argenti balances his vocal journeys with a powerfully expressive instrumental accompaniment. Even strings are added to several tracks. Trombone, trumpet, flute, saxophone, and an old world accordion landscape bring fresh timbres to the session. Argenti's piano interpretations sparkle with a rapid-fire bebop-laden density. He teams with horns and rhythm mates to depict swing and bebop the way they've been handed down.

Tight unison work and conversational trades open doors for extended improvisation. Argenti's conservative swing and lush, standard harmony, however, hold the session in check. A bit more freedom would loosen the ties that bind.

For audio samples, see www.blizzardrecords.com .

Track Listing: Easy to Love; Raccontami di Te (Tell Me About You); Space in Time; Pisa Nova; Song for Suzanne; You Don't Know What Love Is; Ferdi's Mood; In Cerca di Te (Searching for You); Kristiansand; La Piu' Bella del Mondo (The Most Beautiful in the World); Sea Sadness; L'acque 'Hete (Silent Waters); Bambina Innamorata (Little Girl in Love); Our Love is Here to Stay.

Personnel: Ferdinando Argenti- piano, keyboards, vocals; Todd Baker, Raetus Flisch, Lionel Girardeau, Fernando Huergo- bass; Bob Savine, Steve Langone, Jorge Rossy, Steve Hass- drums; Renato Thoms- percussion; Roberto Cassan- accordion; Phil Person- trumpet; Mike Peipman- trumpet, flugelhorn; Tim McCall- tenor saxophone, alto saxophone; Bob Patton- flute, alto saxophone; Al Cron, Jeff Galindo- trombone.

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream

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