Recent Listening: Domnick Farinacci


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Dominick Farinacci, Sounds In My Life (Keystone). When I first heard Farinacci five or six years ago, he was one of two trumpet students featured on a Warren Vaché instructional DVD. In his solo on a blues, I was intrigued that he seemed to be reflecting in a personal way a school of trumpetplaying notable for the subtlety of its beauty. Some of the trumpeters in the 1950s whose characteristics of tone, fluidity of ideas and lyricism bound them together in a general style were Don Joseph, Tony Fruscella, Chet Baker and Miles Davis. As on-the-sleeve virtuosity has burgeoned, it is an approach to the trumpet that has become increasingly rare. When Farinacci's Sounds In My Life showed up in the mail, I put in on the CD player anticipating that kind of playing. I cannot report that I am disappointed that he was playing differently; his work is gorgeous.

Farinacci's generous tone is open throughout the horn's register, with no sign of strain to reach top notes. At his most original, his ideas are intriguing. By 2007, when this was recorded, however, he had moved on from the Fruscella-Joseph-Baker-Davis approach to harder facets more akin to Blue Mitchell, Freddie Hubbard and the Miles Davis of the sixties. His work on two Jimmy Heath pieces is notably reflective of Mitchell, and no Mitchell admirer can complain about Farinacci's solo on “Mona's Mood." I am slightly troubled that a soloist of Farinacci's evident abilities chooses to perform virtual approximations of muted Davis in “Flamenco Sketches" and “My Funny Valentine." Davis did it brilliantly, so brilliantly that his muted work has been imitated for decades and has become a cliché. On open horn, Farinacci summons mid-sixties Davis in the opening out-of-tempo section of “What is This Thing Called Love," but in the main body of his solo works his way into what the old-timers used to call original stuff. His exposition of the melody of “I Can't Get Started" has intimations of Clifford Brown's control and Brown's use of grace notes, with improvisation in the solo that has a fine combination of elegance and passion.

Farinacci is still in his twenties and has recorded several other albums. I will seek out the others and follow his development with interest in the assumption that he is going through a period of assimilation and will come out of it with stronger indications of the individuality I heard in those few blues choruses on that Vaché DVD.

The US distributor of Sounds In My Life reports that the CD is out of stock, but this web site lists it at a bargain price.

Hey, I'm supposed to be on vacation this week. Look for further posts as they happen—and they may.

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This story appears courtesy of Rifftides by Doug Ramsey.
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