Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tamburr & Co. bring fire and subtlety

Vibes player Christian Tamburr’s quintet, featuring trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, closed out a three-week, 5,000-mile tour up and down the East Coast last night in Port Charlotte FL as part of the Charlotte County Jazz Society’s Artist Series.

Extended solos and a blend of subtlety and fire were the order of the night for this band, which showed from the opening notes how much it enhances a band’s chemistry if the players work together for extended periods. The band also included pianist Scott Giddens, bassist Billy Thornton and drummer Justin Varnes.

The many highlights included Farinacci’s soulful, almost mournful, trumpet work on “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and Tamburr’s playing on his original ballad “Sailing Serenity,” which also showcased Thornton. On the latter take, it sounded like Tamburr channeled Tom Harrell and Pat Metheny when writing the beautiful, lush piece. Farinacci’s flugelhorn work included more than a few doses of blazing speed triple tonguing. His stop-time arrangement of “It’s Alright With Me” added to the night’s electricity.

Tamburr, a native of Cocoa Beach FL who now calls San Jose CA home, wowed the crowd with a solo version of “In a Sentimental Mood.” He played the vibes with his hands rather than mallets that at times resonated with a harp-like delicacy. “Yes, it hurts,” he said later, not having used that hands-on technique since a May concert in West Palm Beach.

Much to his credit, the tour included nine free master classes, workshops and concerts for students as part of Tamburr’s Ignite the Arts outreach program to inspire and revitalize the arts in public schools. Port Charlotte would do well to latch onto those possibilities next time the band is in town. Tamburr also gives 50% of the night’s CD sale proceeds at those free concerts to the local school’s arts program.

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