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Dominick Farinacci Gets Graded

Dominick Farinacci

Lovers, Tales & Dances

(Koch)

dominickfarinacci.com

As the title of Cleveland native Dominick Farinacci's U.S. debut suggests, Lovers, Tales & Dances is a highly romantic, moonlit record. It features Farinacci's clear, forceful trumpet and flugelhorn within a star-studded small group, occasionally backed by lush strings. The record's first half is strong, beginning with the moody Billie Holiday number "Don't Explain," where Farinacci weaves his melodious lines with Joe Lovano's bop-oriented tenor sax flurries into a multidimensional lament. On the album standout, "Libertango," Farinacci's flugelhorn moves from foggy sighs into crisp, fitful exclamations, augmented by the occasional swooping growl. Jamey Haddad's bright percussion dances beneath, swirling with vibraphonist Joe Locke's quick runs and master pianist Kenny Barron's angular statements. Elsewhere, Hilary Kole lends breathy vocals to the bossa nova flavored "Estate," and Farinacci and Barron pair for a somber working of the dark Farinacci original "Vision." But much of the album's second half drifts languorously in the pop-jazz field, with Farinacci blowing cozy Chuck Mangione- or Chris Botti-like phrases. Not until the penultimate track, when Lovano returns for a stab at the Ornette Coleman classic "Lonely Woman" does the album regain much grit. Hopefully, Farinacci's considerable chops and choice sidemen will lead him into more adventurous terrain in the future.

Dominick Farinacci performs at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, March 6, and Saturday, March 7, and 7 p.m. Sunday, March 8, at Nighttown (12387 Cedar Rd., 216.795.0550). Tickets: $20.

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