Andrea Tofanelli

Mattia's Walk

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Italian trumpeter Andrea Tofanelli calls this recording a tribute to Maynard Ferguson, and it is easy to see why. The Italian leads his Jazz Art Orchestra through a series of showcases that reflect the same wild exuberance of some of Ferguson's mid- and late-career crossover escapades. Tofanelli is a masterful technician with a flare for the stratospheres. On Shorty Rogers' "Maynard Ferguson," one might even swear the Italian was the real thing -- that's how good he is. As with Ferguson, there are excesses and little emphasis on subtlety, but it is all in good fun, and his showmanship qualities are impressive. Tofanelli gives this one a Cuban flare, with danceable beats and upbeat rhythms. There are some decent solos too, as Tofanelli has attracted some fine members from the vibrant Italian jazz scene: lesser known musicians such as clarinetist Mauro Negri and pianist/arranger Mauro Grosso. The band is polished -- sometimes even slick at times. But for those who enjoy accessible big band Latin sounds and impressive trumpet technique, this should prove satisfying.

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