Jan. 2010 By Peter Bacon (The Jazz Breakfast)
This is the third recording from the young alto player now working out of London. Its an all-Italian affair with the rest of the band comprising more mature players: Michele Di Toro on piano, Attilio Zanchi on bass and Tommy Bradascio on drums.
But its the young leader who, well, leads. He opens with a solo intro to Billy Strayhorns Isfahan, fully of saxophonic wizardry and flash, then it is straight into the classic, strongly swinging tune and a easier flowing solo from Starace followed by a playful one from Di Toro, with the rhythm team thoroughly assured and confidently relaxed.
And things continue thus - through Starace originals ( he continues the interest he has in photography - his last album was dedicated to the work of Elliott Erwitt - with Farewell Capa ) and by others in the band, as well as a Stevie Wonder, an Oscar Pettiford and a Pat Metheny.
Starace relies rather too often on the same patterns in this playing, but the set does have the energy of a good club gig and should have wide appeal being both mainstream in some senses but also having a stylish modernity.