is Tommaso's collaboration with long time musical partner . The two have been performing in the Italian quartet for over a decade and Tommaso felt that it was time to get together and create music on a more 'intimate' level in a duo format. Michele has a great ability, through his classical piano training and understanding of the jazz Idiom, to create many different colours both in his accompaniment and improvisation. Here in this album one can witness in their performance their mutual ability to play along with each other thus creating surprising and vibrant musical conversations. The album is released on .
Tommaso and his Italian quartet release
As opposed to the , in this album the saxophonist has chosen 14 images taken around Italy, from the 50's to the year 2000.
The aim was to create highly lyrical compositions with an emphasis on melody a characteristic of Italian music.
The music has been specifically written for the four members of the band since they have been performing together as a unit from 2007 and trumpeter Paolo Fresu is the special guest on this album.
As Tommaso's says in the liner notes of the album:
'I should like to explain that the compositions presented here were written with my musician friends Tommy, Michele and Attilio in mind; I admire them a lot and consider myself very lucky to have played with them for seven years.
I'm also extremely grateful that Paolo Fresu was able to take part in this project: he is the perfect musician to express the poetry and 'Italian-ness' of the photos we interpreted'.
'' is the debut album on Universal/EmArcy Label recorded by Tommaso and his quartet and dedicated to the great French pianist. Petrucciani became well known around the world as an exuberant and virtuoso pianist influenced by the likes of Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Keith Jarrett. He was able to convey incredible energy and excitement in his many memorable performances and his collaboration with some of the great jazz american artists ( Charles Lloyd, Wayne Shorter, Steve Gadd, Jim Hall, Lenny White, Stanley Clarke) all contributed to the greatness of his music. The Italian quartet is made up of: piano prodigy , on bass ( Paolo Fresu's collaborator for many years) and the hard swinging drumming of . Two guests are included on the recording: , one of the Italian greatest trumpeters of his generation and Uk vibraphone Master .
'', Tommaso's previous CD, was produced in 2010 and recorded with his all Star Uk Quartet comprising: on piano, on electric bass and on drums. The recording allowed the young Italian saxophonist to tour extensively around the United Kingdom, Italy and Switzerland visiting jazz clubs and festivals which included: Blue Note Milano, Brecon Jazz Festival, Avezzano Jazz Festival, Oxford and Lichfield Jazz Festivals, Open Brianza Jazz festival, La Salumeria della Musica, Torino and Piacenza Jazz Clubs and many others..
The album and concerts were very much praised by jazz Critics and received enthusiastic reviews:
'Oxford is blessed to garner such talent' - Alison Hoblyn ( Oxford Jazz Festival)
'Every note was on the money - no aimless meandering, no honks and screeches - straight down the middle modern Jazz..' - Lance Liddle ( Newcastle concert at the Chilli)
'Un quartetto d'impianto tradizionale, con una ritmica di grande spessore, un pianoforte pronto all' improvvisazione narrativa e come prima voce, un sassofonista maturo e poliedrico..' - Alessandro Carabelli ( Jazzitalia.net)
The '', album recorded in 2009, marked the start of an exciting collaboration with his Italian Quartet. Renowned jazz author and critic Vittorio Franchini says of Tommaso's new recording:
'The sax is filled with voices, it sings gaiety.....I like the way he follows joyful paths, I immagine him playing around with rhythms, playing with the other instruments, opening up to new feelings and inventing new ways...'
His second album '' allowed the young saxophonist to tour twice round the United Kingdom performing with his quintet in some of the most prestigious jazz clubs, festivals and concert halls including The Purcell Room - Queens Elizabeth Hall, Pizza Express - Dean Street, Drill Hall - Lincoln, Swanage Jazz Festival, Jazz at the Fleece, St Davids Hall - Cardiff, Royal Festival Hall Foyer, to name a few. This recording also gave him the possibility to visit jazz clubs and festivals in Italy including: Le Scimmie - Milan, Time in Jazz Festival and Nuoro Jazz Festival - Sardenia, Borgo jazz Club - Genova and others. Favourable reviews followed his performances and CD releases:
'..The promising Starace seems to be revealing his most personal voice in the full-on music' - John Fordham, The Guardian
Th 'Starace's melodious originals offer good blowing potential for alto and soprano solos delivered in a cleanly articulate post-bop style reminiscent of Phill Woods' - Jack Massarick, Jazzwise
'The rhythm section is dynamic and Starace is Star material' - Ian Carr, jazz author/educator/musician
Born in 1975 in Milano, Italy Tommaso started playing the saxophone and studying music at the age of 18. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1994 where he graduated at Birmingham Conservatoire with a Bmus first class honours and later at the Guildhall School Of Music and Drama with a Postgraduate Degree in jazz studies in the year 2000. He has performed with some of the most respected jazz musicians including Billy Cobham, David Liebman, Kenny Wheeler, Stan Sulzmann, Jim Mullen, Jonathan Gee, Paolo Pellegatti, Gianni Giudici. In the year 2004 he collaborated with award winning oscar film composer Dario Marianelli ( 'Pride and Prejudice' and ' The Atonement' ) recording music for 'This Little Life', a BBC drama for Channel Four.
In 2008 Tommaso was awarded with an Honorary Membership by Birmingham Conservatoire given to him for his significant contributions made across the years within the various branches of the music profession.
Tommaso is currently busy performing concerts with his quartet all over Europe.