415

The Jay D'Amico Trio: Tuscan Prelude: Jazz Under Glass

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Jay D'Amico Trio: Tuscan Prelude: Jazz Under Glass Some years ago I reviewed Ponte Novello (CAP, 2001) by pianist Jay D'Amico's trio (augmented on four tracks by a string section), and was impressed by the way in which he transposed operatic arias by Puccini, Bellini and Verdi, among others, to the jazz idiom, leaving their inherent beauty intact while proving that those masters have much to say to a contemporary audience if their music is prudently amended under the proper circumstances.

Tuscan Prelude is a collection of original compositions that once again draws on his background and heritage to present modern jazz with savory classical/Italian seasoning. If one were asked to describe his recipe in a word, the word "tasteful" might leap to mind, or perhaps "elegant." D'Amico's themes are invariably handsome, and the trio approaches them with respect and decorum, rather like the Modern Jazz Quartet without Milt Jackson's vibraphone.

So is this chamber jazz? For the most part, yes, depending upon one's definition of the genre. The performance certainly validates its subtitle, Jazz Under Glass. On the other hand, there are passages on almost every number that swing freely, usually following the thematic development, as D'Amico never turns his back (or keyboard) completely to jazz's inherent bedrock. Even so, D'Amico won't ever be mistaken for McCoy Tyner, Oscar Peterson or even John Lewis (although he comes closest there). His colleagues, bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Ronnie Zito, are wholly supportive, allowing D'Amico to bask in the limelight while they render decent and unobtrusive impressions of Percy Heath and Connie Kay. Johnson is adept with a bow, Zito likewise with brushes, and they use them quite often.

Even though Tuscan Prelude's 39:49 playing time is less than half a CD's maximum length, what's there is lovely music, performed with unerring style and grace by three remarkably talented musicians. If you're a fan of the MJQ, it is all but guaranteed to please.


Track Listing: Tuscan Prelude; Theme in B-Flat Minor; G-Minor Ballade; Riga; Improvviso; Nocturne; Sonata, Movement 1; Movement 2; Movement 3; Prelude in A-Minor; Aria in D.

Personnel: Jay D'Amico: piano; Marc Johnson: bass (1-10); Ronnie Zito: drums (1-10); Greg D'Amico: bass (11); Vinnie Favata: drums (11).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: CAP | Style: Classical


Shop

More Articles

Read A Dark and Stormy Day CD/LP/Track Review A Dark and Stormy Day
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Pocono Git-Down CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Rímur CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Schönbrunn CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Montage" CD/LP/Track Review Montage
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 22, 2016
Read "Moanin'" CD/LP/Track Review Moanin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Back Home" CD/LP/Track Review Back Home
by Mark F. Turner
Published: May 6, 2016
Read "Z Octet" CD/LP/Track Review Z Octet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "A Missing Shade of Blue" CD/LP/Track Review A Missing Shade of Blue
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!