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Ferdinando Argenti Trio: Live At The Sahara

Edward Blanco By

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Boston-based pianist/vocalist and composer Ferdinando Argenti, originally from Pisa, Italy, delivers an impressive live recording entitled Live At The Sahara, recorded with a trio at the Sahara Club in the town of Methuen, north of Boston. Argenti designs an excellent set of instrumentals and vocals from the contemporary jazz cannon combining music from The Great American Songbook with jazz standards a soft bossa nova, a Latin favorite and one Italian love song to make this session a varied and entertaining musical statement.

Playing the piano and the Melodica as well as singing five beautiful songs, Argenti fronts an amazing trio which includes veteran bassist Marshal Wood, whose almost forty-year career span has seen him perform and record with some of the best jazz artists in the world from Dizzy Gillespie and Clark Terry to Randy Brecker and Anita O'Day. Fellow Italian and award-winning drummer Marcello Pellitteri rounds out the cast. Together, this trio form a tight cohesive band that play as one instrument in conveying the language of jazz.

Leading off the live session is the Charlie Parker standard "Bloomdido" where the pianist uses to immediately showcase his more than appreciable chops on the instrument announcing that this is his album and he, the central figure. Nevertheless, an unselfish leader, Argenti steps aside at times allowing his band mates to perform many solo moments as they do on the opener and on other pieces. Nat Simon's "Poinciana" is perhaps the most ambitious track of the album at nine and a half minutes in duration and on which, Argenti and crew are at their best in providing one gorgeous rendition of the classic.

Composer Jerome Kern's oft recorded classic "I'm Old Fashioned" takes on another new treatment with the pianist on vocals this time playing the melody straight and infusing a bit of scatting to make the song a bit more perky. The immortal Rodgers and Hart song "Spring is Here" sounds like the traditional version but enjoying more piano play than usual though this one, is also a vocal rendition. Singing the lyrics in Portuguese, Argenti delivers a sensuous version of the Antonio Carlos Jobim standard "O Grande Amor" featuring beautiful bass work from Pellitteri.

Contained within the mix of standards and music from the American Songbook is one original Argenti composition entitled "Blues in the Midst of a Crowd," a classic instrumental bluesy-tinged number featuring outstanding key work from the leader. The trio does quick work on the brief Chick Corea tune "Got a Match," before Argenti delivers another vocal piece this time, voicing the soft and gentle love song "Mi Sono Innamorato" from Luigi Tenco in Italian. Sammy Cahn's familiar "It's You or No One" caps off a great night of music.

A multi-talented artist, Ferdinando Argenti lays down one of the finest performances of traditional jazz music on his highly-entertaining Live At The Sahara, a live set capturing the mood of love through intimate vocal and instrumental interpretations of jazz standards and other classics, well done!

Track Listing: Bloomdido; Poinciana; I'm Old Fashioned; Spring Is Here; O Grande Amor; Blues In The Midst Of A Crowd; Historia De Un Amor; Got A Match?; Mi Sono Innamorato Di Te; It's You Or No One

Personnel: Ferdinando Argenti: piano, vocals, melodica; Marshall Wood: bass; Marcello Pellitteri: drums

Title: Live At The Sahara | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Ferdi's Music

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