148

Tommaso Starace: Plays The Photos Of Elliott Erwitt

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Here's further evidence of the fact that there's a whole lot of mileage left in the modern mainstream. There's a slightly acidic quality to Tommaso Starace's alto sax, which serves among other things to set him at some distance from many of the more common influences. On the level of a player, then, this puts him in a good position, especially in view of the fact that his work on the soprano sax might be described as akin to a quirk-free Lol Coxhill, which at least places Starace in one of the most sparsely populated classes.

What completely separates him from the pack, however, is the fact that his compositions have character, and that he has taken the trouble to put together a programme inspired by the photos of Elliott Erwitt, a member of the Magnum agency formed by Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Capa and others in 1947. Starace has paid enough attention to the visual inspirations behind the music for the whole thing to work. This is perhaps best exemplified by "Tongue In Cheek, an up-tempo romp the like of which is fitting both for the title and the photo which inspired it.

On the likes of "Tickets... Please!" there is a reflective quality that a few more "young lions" might acquire if they ever get around to doing something other than laying all that technique on us. The same is true of "Loving Gloves, where the connection between the music and the photo "being played" is abundantly obvious.

The presence of both vibes and piano in a group of this sort is not uncommon. Not only do the two instruments avoid any potential clashes, but the music is enhanced by the assembled players—making one realise just how deft this group is as a unit. The solo inputs of vibraphonist Roger Beaujolais and pianist Liam Noble make for a disc that is also not lacking in contrasts.

All in all Starace has much to be proud of here, not least because with the more time that passes the more difficult it becomes to carve out an individual identity in this area. In so doing, he has also pulled off the not inconsiderable feat of putting together a programme of music that stands on its own at the same time as it draws fruitfully on another strand of the arts for inspiration.


Track Listing: Keep Moving Please! Set Me Free (Lament Of A Mannequin); Goodbyes; Tickets

Personnel: Tommaso Starace: alto and soprano saxophones; Roger Beaujolais: vibraphone; Liam Noble: piano; Julian Barry: bass; Jim Hart: drums.

Title: Plays The Photos Of Elliott Erwitt | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Frame


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 4, 2017
Read "In The Past" CD/LP/Track Review In The Past
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "Seven Secrets" CD/LP/Track Review Seven Secrets
by John Kelman
Published: May 26, 2017
Read "Caipi" CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Seeing Is Believing" CD/LP/Track Review Seeing Is Believing
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello" CD/LP/Track Review Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello
by John Eyles
Published: July 11, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.