Tommaso Starace quartet plus special guests
April 2002 By Ian Carr (Jazz Author)
This is an extremely promising debut album. Starace plays alto and soprano saxes and his quartet is a superb unit, with pianist Tim Lapthorn, bassist Andy Hamill and drummer Ben Reynolds.
The five guests too, shine brightly and they are trumpeter Joe Aukland, guitarist Anthony Ormesher, vocalist and pianist Eriko Ishihara, saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and flautist Gareth Lockrane.
Starace is already a talented composer and contributed three originals to the session Primrose Hood, an excellent Latin outing, Once upon a time, an exquisite ballad with great harmonies, and which inspires a ravishing alto solo with Johnny Hodges-like sinuosity. His third original Hairloss is the final piece on the album and its a fast exhilarating blues.
The rest of the very varied material consists of unusual jazz standards and originals. The rhythm section is dynamic and Starace is star material.