Bruno Tommaso

Steamboat Bill, Jr.

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Italian Bruno Tommaso is best known for his excellent work as a jazz string bassist. Here, he leads an eclectic ten-piece ensemble through a soundtrack for a Buster Keaton film and solos occasionally on piano. The 15 tracks, recorded live, luxuriously capture the spirit of the comedian with a touch of humor, the flavor of the early 20th century, and a whiff of more modern avant-garde. Highly accessible arrangements and a charming American feel coupled with often substantial solos from the mostly lesser-known players combine to make this a fascinatingly offbeat venture. The composer uses different combinations of musicians so that although he calls this his "Orchestra," and all the performers are utilized, there is a sense of smaller groupings on most of the pieces. The limited but effective vocalist Mara De Mutiis and some fine blowing from baritone saxophonist Rossano Emili and the other horns, plus occasional contributions by Tommaso on piano, establish this recording as a light, fun-filled feast.

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