Alexa Tarantino, Clarity Review
Alexa Tarantino is an American jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and educator. Tarantino has been gaining recognition as a player focusing on the soprano and alto saxophone and flute and alto flute. Tarantino’s performance highlights include prestigious venues such as Jazz in Marciac Festival (with Wynton Marsalis and the Young Stars of Jazz), Umbria Jazz Festival (with Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project), the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Hollywood Bowl (with Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra), the Rockport Jazz Festival (Alexa Tarantino Quintet), Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra), and the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (with LSAT, Earth, Wind & Fire, and others). She has performed regularly as a leader and sidewoman in a wide variety of ensembles and genres including the Alexa Tarantino Quartet, Cecile McLorin Salvant Quintet, Cecile McLorin Salvant’s OGRESSE Ensemble, Ulysses Owens Jr.’s Generation Y, LSAT (quintet co-led with baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian), Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra. As a composer/arranger, Tarantino has written and/or recorded works for Lauren Sevian’s Bliss for Posi- Tone Records, Sherrie Maricle & The DIVA Jazz Orchestra’s 25th Anniversary, and Cécile McLorin Salvant’s Quintet. With Posi-Tone Records, her work can be heard on Something Blue, Lioness, Works for Me, and Winds of Change. Tarantino is currently on faculty for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Youth Education Programs and directs one of their High School Jazz Academy big bands. She has just released her second album as a leader titled, Clarity, on Posi-Tone Records.Bottom Line: Clarity is filled with nine tracks, and Tarantino is joined by Steven Feifke on piano and Fender Rhodes, Joe Martin on acoustic bass, and Rudy Royston on drums. The album is produced by Marc Free and was recorded at Acoustic Recording in Brooklyn, New York. Tarantino composed four compositions, and Feifke wrote one, the other selections are from the jazz and Latin jazz songbook. Tarantino’s original “Through” has a modern modal harmonic setting in which she displays fabulous flute prowess. Louis Demetrio’s gorgeous composition “La Puerta” is given a stirring performance by the quartet and features some of Tarantino’s best alto saxophone playing on the date. Horace Silver’s “Gregory Is Here” has an elegant soprano saxophone performance from Tarantino with Feifke playing a beautiful Fender Rhodes accompaniment and solo. Feifke’s modern jazz composition “Karma” inspires the quartet. Martin’s acoustic bass keeps a steady pulse as Royston’s exploration of the drums drives multi-layers of rhythmic activity. Both Feifke and Tarantino turn in excellent solos on this one. Tarantino is building an impressive catalog of music, now that she is on Posi-Tone Records, she will undoubtedly continue to grow her body of work and reputation. That’s the short of it!
Connect with Alexa Tarantino: Website |
A Race Against Yourself
A Unified Front
Gregory Is Here
Thank You For Your Silence
Release Date: June 5, 2020