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Jay D'Amico Trio - Nocturne: Jazz Under Glass (2010)


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By Pico

A couple of years ago, pianist Jay D'Amico put out a record that made a fine illustration of his ability to combine the classical stylings of Chopin with the suppleness and relaxed feel of a traditional jazz trio. Tuscan Prelude: Jazz Under Glass was a successful melding of the styles, which has been attempted more often in larger group settings. D'Amico's blend of classical and jazz within such a small group has become something of a specialty of his. So perhaps it's only fitting that D'Amico's next album would be more of the same thing that he does so well.

Nocturne: Jazz Under Glass continues the “Jazz Under Glass" series with the same game plan, but with a different lineup: Marc Johnson is replaced on bass by Greg D'Amico and Ronnie Zito is replaced on drums by Vinnie Favata. Both Greg D'Amico and Favata appeared on one track of the earlier album, however. Despite the lineup change, everything I liked about Tuscan Prelude I also like about Nocturne. D'Amico is not the most kinetic pianist around; he prefers a traditional, delicate touch that emphasizes the classical side of the equation. And they certainly befit his compositions perfectly.

Those compositions, as before, are compact, but are impressionistic and have memorable melodies that seem they should have been created generations ago. D'Amico explains, “I always want the melody to imitate the human voice and most importantly, it has to swing." In the case of the lightly waltzing “The Dove," the melody imitates the sound of cooing birds. Other highlights include “Invention in E Minor," “Earth Day Theme," and “Italian Waltz." Greg D'amico and Favata do good work in providing support with a light touch and provide the swing that D'Amico looks for in his songs.

Nocturne, which went on sale in February, is clearly meant to relax listeners, but with an understated and elegant style. By combining the elements of two of the great music idioms, D'Amico succeeds in that endeavor. Nocturne, like Tuscan Prelude, is distributed by Consolidated Artists Productions.

Visit Jay's website here.

Purchase: Jay D'Amico Trio--Nocturne: Jazz Under Glass

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