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Dominick Farinacci: Dawn of Goodbye

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If you’re a certain kind of jazz listener-one who prefers the music tough and cutting-edge-you may feel compelled to avoid Dominick Farinacci before you hear him play a note. The half-dozen black-and-white photos in the CD art depict a reflective man with trumpet in hand, dressed nattily and coiffed stylishly, visual suggestions that this is an artist who’s out to make nice and soothe. Further, the opening of his liner notes, with its talk of “bittersweet ironies of love” and the like, may foreshadow a lulling, uninvolving listen.

Indeed, Dawn of Goodbye, Farinacci’s second album in the U.S. after releasing several to the Japanese market, does have its share of all that. At its most cautious, on tracks such as his own “Midnight Embrace” and the tame “Willow Weep for Me,” Farinacci and his crew (generally piano, bass and drums) play it safe, rarely venturing outside of the melody’s basic framework to see where else they might go. On several of its tracks, this is an album that wants to be used as a backdrop for another activity.

But that’s not the whole story. While retaining the sensitivity his themes call for, Farinacci injects a gutsy soulfulness into his trumpet playing on the languid, unencumbered title track, a mood echoed beautifully by pianist Dan Kaufman. And when Farinacci does feel like blowing hot, he’s got it in him: He sizzles on Cole Porter’s “It’s Alright With Me,” embraces the heartbreak at the core of the standard “Lover Man” and pays a respectful visit to New Orleans in his own “Dom’s Blues.” One of two “hidden” bonus tracks, “You Made Me Love You,” is a trumpet-bass duet with Ben Williams that hints at an adventurism Farinacci would surely benefit from pursuing more fully.

Originally Published