The Jay D’Amico Trio – Tuscan Prelude – Jazz Under Glass – CAP Records

by | Mar 2, 2012 | Jazz CD Reviews

The Jay D’Amico Trio – Tuscan Prelude – Jazz Under Glass – CAP Records 1013 39:49 ***:
(Jay D’Amico – piano; Marc Johnson – bass 1-7, 9, 10; Ronnie Zito – drums 1-7, 9, 10; Greg D’Amico – bass 11; Vinnie Favata – drums 11)
For the most part classical and jazz music live in mutually exclusive spheres. Classical music depends upon strict adherence to time signatures and note values, with no room for improvisation. Jazz music not so much. Attempting to bring these two musical styles together is fraught with problems. Yet Jay D’Amico in this release Tuscan Prelude: Jazz Under Glass tries to make this happen and does so with some success.
In this eleven track outing of his own compositions, D’Amico starts each piece out with the premise of using the classically-based theme to devolve into jazz improvisations. For example on “Tuscan Prelude” he starts with a Brahms-like introduction then segues into a lightly swinging turn which is a foretaste of his subtle piano style. ”Theme in Bb Minor” has an unusual time signature with salsa flavour, and then veers off into an up-tempo foray. Most of the tracks are not lengthy and thus would fall into what could be called chamber jazz. This is not bad, just a statement of the context of the music.
The two D’Amico rhythmic partners in this project are each given some space to show their mettle. Marc Johnson on bass uses his arco style to full effect on “G minor Ballade” and Ronnie Zito’s brush work is prominent on “Improvviso”.  A musical nod is give to Chopin with the waltz time on “Nocturne” which is followed up with a similarly structured “Sonata Mvt.1”.
There is some tantalizing and intricate music on offer here, but it is unlikely to raise anyone’s heart rate.
TrackList: Tuscan Prelude; Theme in Bb minor; G minor Ballade; Fuga; Improvviso; Nocturne; Sonata Mvt. 1; Mvt.2; Mvt.3; Prelude in A minor; Aria in D
—Pierre Giroux

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