A band primarily playing bebop, without a drummer, is not to everybody’s taste. It is to mine. You get the combined sound and great clarity from each instrument. This band’s musicianship and joy in playing together were exceptional. Power of Three indeed.
Tommaso Starace is a great presenter: lovely stories, good (and very bad) jokes, and most important, he was clear about song titles and composers. As to the latter, Steve did have a query or two about attribution. But the thing is his playing. His mastery of the instrument is amazing, with a big dynamic range, ideas piling on one another, accurate slurs (if that is not an odd combination) even in the altissimo. He radiates the joy of playing. Interestingly, when others are soloing he leaves the stage, giving them all the space in both the sonic and spatial senses. You can still see him loving what his friends are doing on-stage.
Jim Watson is special. He is in a class with very few members: those whose left hand is as strong and inventive as his/her right. I could not pick out an individual solo to talk about. They were all superb. Fleece Jazz has a listening audience, but shouts and whistles were heard after several of his solos. He doesn’t go onto automatic when accompanying, either. Like all three of the musicians, his listening skills are A+.
Australian Luke Fowler is new to Fleece Jazz, but I hope we will see him many times in the future. Of course, without a drummer, his pulse had to be strong and accurate. Luke is a brilliant soloist. Although he is perfectly competent in the highest register of the bass, he doesn’t rely on that register for solos.
Thanks to a lovely band for a great evening. Steve agrees, and brings a set list for you to see.
The next gig will have you dancing in your seats or on a dance floor. The wonderful nonet, “Jivin’ Miss Daisy”, will be returning to us. See the poster at https://www.fleecejazz.org.uk/Daisy.pdf.
TOMMASO STARACE SETLIST, FLEECE JAZZ 22/2/23
- Kansas City Blues (Charlie Parker)
- This Here (Bobby Timmons) as performed by The Cannonball Adderley Quintet
- Del Sasser (Sam Jones) as performed by The Cannonball Adderley Quintet
- Kiki (Charlie Parker) Did Tommaso mean Ko-Ko?
- Autumn in New York (Vernon Duke)
- Caravan (Duke Ellington)
* * * * * * *
- If I Should Lose You (Ralph Rainger/Leo Robin)
- Passport (Charlie Parker)
- Speak Low (Kurt Weill/Ogden Nash)
- Segment (Charlie Parker)
- Work Song (Nat Adderley)
- ENCORE: Voyage (Kenny Barron)*