Archive for May 8th, 2014

Enrico Granafei – Alone and Together

The harmonica, as genres go, is most often associated with the blues. It’s also used as an occasional background or solo instrument in other styles. Enrico Granafei shows that it’s also an effective lead instrument in jazz with Alone and Together (Consolidated Artist Productions, 2013).

For the first six tracks, the lineup consists of Granafei, pianist Amina Figarova, bassist Rick Crane and drummer Billy Hart. After that, it’s mostly a tour de force by Granafei as he plays some combination of harmonica, acoustic guitar, shaker, hands-free chromatic harmonica, DB guitar (a combination bass and guitar), nylon string guitar and vocals. Trumpeter Wallace Roney, violinist Vitali Imereli and guitarist Dave Stryker are among the additional players.

“Christina” is a tranquil ballad that allows Granafei plenty of freedom. The accompanying musicians contribute nicely, but it’s mostly about the leader. Granafei mixes composer Buster Williams’ melody with improvisation. Figarova delivers an elegant middle solo.

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