Dominick Farinacci: Lovers, Tales & Dances

Trumpeter Farinacci is a 26 year old Julliard graduate who has recorded six records which I have not heard on a Japanese label; this is his first US release. The record is in many ways a successful update of the type of record released by CTI in the early 1970s. Production values, for which veteran pop producer Russ Titleman surely deserves credit, are much above those on an average jazz album. Four of the thirteen tunes include string arrangements that are tastefully and unobtrusively arranged by Rick Rosa. Each tune successfully establishes a mood and remains in it with consistency. No tune is as long as seven minutes, and solos are relatively short by contemporary standards but seemingly well thought out. The rhythm section, with Kenny Barron, Lewis Nash, and Marc Johnson or James Genus provides first rate accompaniment that is almost never in the foreground.

The high quality of execution by all involved to these performance standards has created a fine record that will satisfy those seeking a record that aspired to these qualities. Farinacci has excellent presence, dynamics, and phrasing that maintains attention. Joe Locke and Joe Lovano make fine guest appearances. With the exception of “Don’t Explain” and a vocal version of “Estate” that will reinforce the opinion of those of us who believe the jazz repertoire would benefit from the loss of this tune, the songs have not been over recorded, and Puccini’s “E Lucevan Le Stelle” and Brel’s “Ne Me Quitte Pas” are particularly interesting inclusions. A successfully presented version of Ornette’s “Lonely Woman” by a pianoless quartet with Nash, Genus and Lovano that shows a strong connection to the original serves to remind us that yesterday’s avant-garde is today’s mainstream.