(Ferdi's Music, 2000)

Ferdinando Argenti has released the jazz CD Argenti, which contains works from his trio as well as the Argenti seven-member band. The 14 tracks include seven original instrumentals, four Italian songs and three American jazz standards. To give you an idea of Argenti's singing ability, the promotional material states "Argenti's sensitive vocal phrasing and delivery can be largely attributed to his admiration for Frank Sinatra and Chet Baker." How aptly put! I was thinking of Sinatra the first time I listened to the CD (which was before I read the promo sheets).

The music is very classy, to say the least. In fact, being a jeans and T-shirt guy myself, I often feel underdressed when I pop Argenti into the CD player. Ferdinando has a style that truly shines on this CD. He projects a sense of formality from a by-gone era. This is music my parents would listen to. (But secretly, I enjoy it as well. Shhh! Don't tell them.)

I feel that Ferdinando's musical ability on the piano is even better than his vocals. This man has some talent at tickling the ivory! His playing has a commanding presence on all the tracks. One of my favorite tunes is "Ferdi's Mood." This is one of those pieces where you close your eyes and slowly move your head with the rising/falling melody. It is a wonderful composition. Another good selection is "In Cerca Di Te." I love the trumpet, trombone and sax. If you like the Big Band sound of the '30s and '40s, you'll enjoy it as well.

As you might have guessed from his name, Ferdinando is from Italy -- the city of Pisa to be exact. He came over to the U.S. in 1984 and currently resides in New England. To find out more specific information, you can check out his website. And while you are there, listen to some samples of his music, too.

Apparently, Ferdinando was joined by more than just his trio and seven-member band. The CD liner notes list 17 musicians who contributed on the various tracks! These include Todd Baker (acoustic bass), Raetus Flisch (acoustic bass), Lionel Girardeau (electric bass), Fernando Huergo (electric bass), Bob Savine (drums), Steve Langone (drums), Jorge Rossy (drums), Steve Hass (drums), Renato Thoms (percussion), Roberto Cassan (accordion), Phil Person (trumpet), Mike Peipman (trumpet and flugelhorn), Tim McCall (tenor and alto sax), Bob Patton (flute and alto sax), Al Cron (trombone) and Jeff Galindo (trombone).

Argenti is a darn good classic jazz-style CD. The selections really complement each other and with so many musicians in the mix, the playing is surprisingly tight. Either these people have jammed together for a number of years or they are very professional at what they do. If you like jazz, big band, or simply Italians, this might be the CD for you.

[ by Wil Owen ]
Rambles: 9 February 2002