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Album Review

Antonio Tosques and Multi-Form Band: Touch Me

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Antonio Tosques and Multi-Form Band: Touch Me
With the possible exception of the upright bass (where it's more of a pas a deux), a guitar allows its player to bring the instrument intimately close to their heart and inner voice. The fingered manipulation of strings can trigger caresses, teases, intensities and poetry. Played well, as it is here on this excellent recording from guitarist/composer/educator Antonio Tosques and the Multi-Form Band, the music can speak from the player's soul to the listener's.

With Touch Me, Antonio Tosques and his band provide great music and vivid emotional insights, all the while mirroring both past and present. "Years of the Sun" kicks off the date with Tosques playing melodic octaves and grooving in "Tequila"-like Wes Montgomery style (with a soulful Daniele Scannapieco tenor solo). "Cycles" is a slower, smoother ride with a Tosques-Telesforo-scatted melody that channels guitarist/vocalist George Benson. "Smile," an original not to be confused with the Chaplin classic, offers Tosques delivering an ear-worm melody over a tasty Matera and Villani rhythm bed.

Throughout these fine 11 tracks—all his originals—Tosques demonstrates that he possesses foremost abilities terrific sound, technique and stylings of the tradition's masters, while making his own statements. Whether the groove is straight-ahead rock ("The Beach of Dreams") or a smoother style ("Detroit," "X-Soul No"), leader and crew are engaged, inventive and fun.

"Lunatic Man" is a hypnotic Tosques solo exploration into programmed echoes and textures. "Face to Face" is a funhouse-mirrored hip- hop groove. The title track, "Touch Me," has a skunk-funk vibe. That's no surprise with guest Randy Brecker's Harmon-muted trumpet doubling Tosques' melody. "Bon Voyage" delivers a Stevie Wonder-type send-off with Umberto Muselli's tenor shining along with Tosques' guitar. With celebrated drummer/producer, Pierluigi Villani, and the terrific Mirko Maria Matera on keys along with Tosques as core, the Multi-Form Band (and guest artists) is an awesome ensemble and their combined efforts result in a highly enjoyable listen.

Track Listing

The Years of the Sun; Cycles; The Beach of the Dreams; Smile; Lunatic Man; Face to Face; Detroit; Touch Me; X-Soul; Bon Voyage.

Personnel

Antonio Tosques: guitar; Pierluigi Villani: drums; Mirko Maria Matera: keyboards; Randy Brecker: trumpet; Gegè Telesforo: voice / vocals; Daniele Scannapieco: saxophone, tenor; Umberto Muselli: saxophone, tenor; Tommaso Scannapieco: bass; Antonio De Luise: bass; Pierluigi Balducci: bass; Gaetano Diodato: bass; Gabriele Borrelli: percussion.

Album information

Title: Touch Me | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Azzurra Music


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