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Dominick Farinacci: Short Stories

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If Short Stories isn’t ultimately regarded as 33-year-old trumpeter Dominick Farinacci’s breakthrough release, it won’t be for lack of imagination or effort. Produced by Grammy-winner Tommy LiPuma with an ear toward achieving broad exposure, the album finds the Juilliard alum sharing studio time with an imposing lineup that includes bassist Christian McBride, keyboardist Larry Goldings, drummer Steve Gadd and arranger Gil Goldstein.

Those familiar with Farinacci’s previous recordings, or with his stylistic ties to the likes of Louis Armstrong and Clifford Brown, won’t be surprised by the album’s evocative allure and melodic charms. And every performance here showcases, in one way or another, Farinacci’s expertly honed technique on trumpet and flugelhorn. Still, Short Stories has a distinct appeal, with enough twists to keep things interesting for listeners whose tastes bridge mainstream and contemporary jazz. The Gipsy Kings’ hit “Bamboleo,” for example, is disarmingly recast as the album’s swaggering, Armstrong-inflected opener, complete with stop-time breaks and Goldstein’s accordion accents. Likewise, Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” and Dianne Reeves’ “Tango” are engagingly reprised with big assists from Goldings, McBride, Goldstein and guitarist Dean Parks. As the album’s title suggests, one vignette follows another, and though some are only mildly diverting, the emotional highlights are unmistakable-as on the paired sequencing of Tom Waits’ brooding ballad “Soldiers Things” and Farinacci’s own Qatar-inspired “Doha Blues.” Here, Farinacci’s alternately subtle and stirring soulfulness is center stage.

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