After recording seven CDs for release in Japan, Julliard-trained trumpeter Dominick Farinacci finally dove into the U.S. music market with Lovers, Tales & Dances (Koch 2009). While that album found some success, both commercially and artistically, it might not have presented a true picture of Farinacci's artistry and personality. The participation of an all-star cast, an international and broad range of songs, and the presence of strings, turned it into a finely polished affair, but the album found Farinacci reaching in too many directions. The more consistent direction on his follow-up, Dawn Of Goodbye, is a far better fit for this exciting, 28 year-old, trumpet star on the rise.
Farinacci forms the program around standards and a few originals and, while the cover presents a noirish image befitting a Chet Baker-wannabe, he isn't indebted to any single influence, sound or style. His trumpet can be breathy with a vocal-like quality ("Lover Man"), bluesy with a raunchy edge ("Dom's Blues" and "Willow Weep For Me"), or sly and seductive ("I Concentrate On You"). Some of his standards are gleaming with a coat of percussive wax on their underbelly ("You Don't Know What Love Is"), while others shine because of the arrangement ("It's Alright With Me"), but all of these well-worn pieces, regardless of their individually distinguishable attributes, sound like they're cut from a similar sonic cloth.
The standards might help to sell the record, but originals speak to Farinacci's skill with the pen. Noirish sensibilities are mixed with a slight Spanish tinge on his "Midnight Embrace," and the nostalgic sense that runs through the gorgeous title track helps to make it one of the album's standout songs. While both pieces could appeal to straight-up jazz fans or contemporary jazz lovers, Farinacci's "Dom's Blues," with its old school New Orleans vibe, skews toward traditional jazz. Pianist Jon Batiste and bassist Ben Williams make one of their two appearances on this track, and everyone seems to relish the opportunity to get back to the blues. The unlisted bonus version of Bobby Timmons' "Moanin,'" with its "let it all hang out" attitude, also proves to be an album highlight.
It's rare to hear an artist that can balance finesse and fire, but Farinacci is the real deal, mixing class, charm, taste and skill in equal measures on Dawn Of Goodbye.
You Don't Know What Love Is; It's Alright With Me; I Concentrate On You; Dom's Blues; Midnight Embrace; Lover Man; Willow Weep For Me; Windshadow; Dawn Of Goodbye.
Dominick Farinacci: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dan Kaufman: piano (1-3, 5, 6, 8, 9); Yasushi Nakamura: bass (1-3, 5, 6, 8, 9); Carmen Intorre: drums (1-4, 6-9); Keita Ogawa: percussion (1, 2, 5, 8, 9); Jonathan Batiste: piano (4, 7); Ben Williams: bass (4, 7); Guilherme Monteiro: acoustic guitar (3).
I write about the following styles: African Jazz Beyond Jazz Big Band Blues Brazilian Classical Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing Electronica Free Improv/Avant-Garde Fringes of Jazz Funk/Groove Fusion/Progressive Rock Hot Jazz Jam Band Latin Lounge/Exotica Modern Jazz R&B/Soul Straight-ahead/Mainstream Vocal