'Tommaso Starace Plays the Photos of Elliott Erwitt' is an album inspired by the photos of the great Magnum photographer My passion for movies and soundtracks and the magic relationship between them motivated me to compose jazz music to black and white photography.
What was great about this whole concept was the fact that most of the tunes I wrote wouldn't have developed as easily and effectively if it hadn't been for the strong evocative images generated by each of Erwitt's photos.The first step and probably one of the trickiest of this project was to select different pictures from Erwitt's vast portfolio; this was a difficult task since there are hundreds and hundreds of images to chose from each one better then the other!In the end I selected eight contrasting photos that would inspire me to write different compositions hopefully giving a good balance the whole album. In my mind I planned to set different moods to each tune: a comic, dramatic, happy, spooky, romanticor a nostalgic one.
Some pieces would be better off performed on alto saxophone and others on soprano and others would be arranged for the whole quintet with a couple of them just written for the quartet featuring either the piano or the vibraphone.
I was very fortunate to be able to put together such a brilliant ensemble: Liam Noble and Roger Beaujolais are two of the finest UK jazz musicians both very busy working as leaders of their own groups or as side men and Jim Hart and Julian Bury are amongst the young jazz lions of the London jazz scene busy performing in clubs and festivals around the country.My aim was to chose musicians that came from different musical backgrounds and had a different sound and style to offer to the compositions I wrote.
The angular and harmonically advanced style of Liam mixed with the electrifying and intense sound produced by Rogers' vibes, backed up by the hard swinging playing of Jim and Julian made all of this possible. I couldn't have been happier with the end result and even more with all the concerts we played together as a result of the tour to promote the CD.
The CD is part of an elegant digipack which opens up on 4 sides and contains a booklet of 24 pages including a biography of Erwitt and the eight photographs selected that inspired me to write different tracks to them. Each photograph is accompanied by a short story which interprets the image and explains the reason for composing the tune to it.