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Norberto Tamburrino: Deco

John Barron By

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Italian pianist Norberto Tamburrino performs a mostly-solo set of his own compositions on Deco; a heartfelt representation of the pianist's passion for swinging, lyrical jazz.

Tamburrino's piano playing, heavily influenced by Thelonious Monk, is ripe with percussive clatter and arpeggiated flourishes. Indeed, the inclusion of Monk's overlooked ballad "We See" demonstrates Tamburrino's thorough understanding of the familiar nuances associated with the late pianist. The opening title track, a duet with trumpeter Fabio Morgera, and Horace Silver's "A Lonely Woman" introduce the pianist's heavy-handed, bebop phrasing. Tamburrino's determination to uphold his traditional approach is most revealing on bouncy solo numbers like "Mondo Jazz" and "It's OK."

The disc's special guests introduce a welcome change in texture to the proceedings. Morgera's somber brass tone helps shift the sonic direction on the free-form "Karol" and the breezy "Come Mai." Tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen lights a spark on the boppish "Roxane," with sly, twisting lines reminiscent of the late Monk associate Charlie Rouse. The rhythm section of drummer Francesco Guarnieri and electric bassist Francesco Mariella provide a solid groove to the bossa-nova "Without."

The all-too-brief "#3" closes the session with a satisfying mix of warmth and angularity; overriding characteristics of Tamburrino's unique and engaging talent.

Track Listing: Deco; A Lonely Woman; Roxane; We See; George; In Major; Eruptions; Karol; Mondo Jazz; Come Mai; 7th Avenue; It's OK; Without; #3.

Personnel: Norberto Tamburrino: piano; Fabio Morgera: trumpet (1, 5, 8, 10); J.D. Allen: tenor saxophone (3); Francesco Mariella: electric bass (13); Francesco Guarnieri: drums (13).

Title: Deco | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Splasc(H) Records

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