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Album Review

Andre Ferreri Quintetto: Numero Uno

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Andre Ferreri Quintetto: Numero Uno
On Numero Uno, guitarist Andre Ferreri leads a tight-knit quintet, four of whose members appear on every number with alternating pianists—Sean Higgins, Phillip Howe, Mark Stallings (Hammond B3 on the breezy "Uptown Swing")—and one trumpeter (Brad Wilcox) who makes it a sextet on "Avia Pervia." Tenor saxophonist Ziad Rabie shares the front line while bassist Anna Stadlman and drummer Kobie Watkins lay on the rhythm.

From the album's title, one might reasonably assume that Ferreri was born and/or lives in Italy, an assumption that misses the mark by at least a continent and an ocean. Ferreri was born in New York City and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he still lives and performs with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra among other ensembles. His first love, however, remains jazz, especially the swinging kind which permeates Numero Uno. As the eleven selections, all written and arranged by Ferreri, have a Euro-Italian ambience, he chose to call the group a quintetto.

Ferreri solos unflappably in the manner of a Herb Ellis or Tal Farlow, whereas Rabie is an alumnus of the Hank Mobley/Gene Ammons/Johnny Griffin/Lucky Thompson school of hard bopping. Ferreri and Rabie complement each other well, and are ably supported by Stadlman, Watkins and the various pianists. Ferreri is a talented composer, even though it is safe to say there is nothing here that is destined to become a jazz classic. For the most part, his music is simply engaging, well-written and efficiently performed. There is one ballad, "We Were All Children," introduced by Stallings' expressive piano and underlined by Ferreri's mellow guitar.

Elsewhere, tempos are, by and large, brisk and the mood upbeat, starting with the light-hearted "Mighty Fine" and closing with the heartfelt "Letter to Mary." Sandwiched between, besides the tunes already mentioned, are "Seasons," "Numero Uno," "Good Bones," "On the Move" and the aptly named "Making Major Changes" and "Making Minor Changes," each of which is relatively loose and even-tempered. Whatever the changes, this is a quintet that knows its way around them and delivers a trim and consistently pleasing studio date.

Track Listing

Mighty Fine; Seasons; Uptown Swing; Numero Uno; Avia Pervia; We Were All Children; Good Bones; On the Move; Making Major Changes; Making Minor Changes; Love Letter to Mary.

Personnel

Andre Ferreri: guitar; Ziad Rabie : saxophone, tenor; Anna Stadlman: bass; Kobie Watkins: drums.

Additional Instrumentation

Brad Wilcox: trumpet (5); Mark Stallings: piano (2, 4, 6), Hammond B3 organ (3); Phillip Howe: piano (5, 7, 10, 11); Sean Higgins: piano (1, 8, 9).

Album information

Title: Numero Uno | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Laser Records, LLC


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