Tommaso Starace - Simply Marvellous
Written by Edward F. Nesta   
Tommaso Starace - Simply Marvellous Tommaso Starace’s latest release Tommaso Starace – Simply Marvellous is a celebration of the music of the legendary French jazz maestro Michel Petrucciani. Tommaso uses his unique style of communicating feelings and emotions through his saxophone to cover a selection of 9 tracks from the vast Michel Petrucciani portfolio. Vibrant, sassy, emotional, and rewarding, this is Tommaso Starace at his best.

Tommaso Starace - Simply Marvellous

Tommaso Starace – Simply Marvellous          

Simply Marvelous:  Looking Up; Guadeloupe; Simply Bop; Rachid; September Second; Even Mice Dance; Little Peace in C for You; My Bebop Tune; Marvellous; Cantabile        

Personnel: Tommaso Starace: Alto and Soprano Saxophone; Michele Di Toro: Piano; Attilio Zanchi: Bass; Tommy Bradascio: Drums; Roger Beaujolais: Vibraphone; Fabrizio Basso: Trumpet, Flugelhorn

Tommaso Starace – Simply Marvellous is Tommaso Starace’s first release on the EmArcy/Universal Label, and is Tommaso’s 5th solo release under his name. To read other reviews of the music of Tommaso Starace please visit the Music Scene section for Tommaso Starace Quartet - Blood and Champagne, Tommaso Starace Quartet - Don't Forget, and Tommaso Starace - Plays the Photos of Elliott Erwitt.

Tommaso, born in Milan and now residing in London, has become a mainstay on the Jazz club and festival circuit. What draws me to Tommaso’s music is his unique ability to communicate feelings and emotions through his saxophone. He does not just play the notes, but rather he expresses sensations, passion, and sentiment that are typically conveyed through visual or verbal exchanges.

Simply Marvellous is a celebration of music of the French Jazz sensation, Michel Petrucciani. The 10 track release includes 9 covers of celebrated music from Michel Petrucciani’s collection of over 32 albums, and one original track, Marvellous, written by Tommaso.

The opening track, Looking Up, sets the tone for the entire release with a series of rousing chords on the piano that is the table setter for Tommaso’s fiery saxophone; the arrangement also features Roger Beaujolais on Vibraphone. The track Guadeloupe starts out with the sensual snare strokes across the drums and the trumpet work of Fabrizio Basso, the arrangement typifies Tommaso’s style of communicating emotions to the audience and in this case through the trumpet mastery of Fabrizio and the piano work of Michele Di Toro.

Simply Bop is anything but simple as the band meshes effortlessly and carves out a special cover of this Michel Petrucciani classic. The track Rachid features a tender piano, bass, and flugelhorn accompaniment on this touching arrangement. Changing pace, Tommaso selected the track September Second from Michel’s collection and he would be pleased with the vibrant and colorful arrangement.

Even Mice Dance is a bold extended arrangement (8:47) that calls upon the “dark notes” on the keyboard to set a somber tone that takes us through the first third of the song before the emotional calling from Tommaso’s saxophone brings the beat up and they sway through the arrangement. Little Peace in C for You is a whimsical arrangement that features Tommaso reaching the top of the scale on the saxophone and the pulsating keyboard work of Michele Di Toro.

The track Marvellous, written by Tommaso as a tribute to Michel Petrucciani, is a touching arrangement with a tender melody that portrays the immense respect that Tommaso has for the songs of Michel. 

The release closes with a sassy rendition of Cantabile that has Tommaso letting loose on the saxophone while the quartet tries to corral the passion projected by Tommaso; the arrangement is a fitting close and celebration of Michel Petrucciani’s music.

Websites where you can procure Tommaso Starace – Simply Marvellous are Amazon, CD Universe, and eBay 

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