9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2008
There is no one close to singing, getting down into the depth of music, like the incomparable Giacomo Gates. His command of each song is remarkable. He was superb in his earlier releases, including Blue Skies and Centerpiece, but with Luminosity, Mr. Gates displays ease, complete control and his unique style with the great range of tunes, including swing, standards, ballads and the blues.
The recording is exceptional, finely balanced, with each musician fully realized. Professional all the way. John diMartino on piano is solid and subtly creative. Tony Lombardozzi on guitar provides his always remarkable cool and airy, distinctive style. Ray Drummond and Greg Bandy provide the gritty pulses and depth on bass and drums respectively. However, center stage is the main instrument, the range, humor, passion and joy let loose in the vocals of the singularly best jazz pipes around, the astounding Giacomo Gates. This is one CD you don't want your life to go by and miss.
When your intrigued enough by his music, and you would like to see Giacomo Gates perform, slip the DVD into your player. Giacomo and a different group of exceptional musicians are on stage, in San Francisco. The vitality and the quality is there, but now you can witness the profound professionalism, the understanding and intense interpretation of the lyrics. You realize that this isn't someone merely singing words, you witness a great voice feeling the meaning, getting down into the evocative rapture, passion, exuberance, and ecstasy of each written word.
Here again, the live Frisco set is recorded remarkably well. And when you are finally knocked out by the music, you can sit back and watch the insightful Giacomo interview where he discusses his music, his influences
and music history.
This is really the complete package, neatly put together. If you haven't had the experience of hearing Giacomo Gates, this is the right time. As far as anyone singing or sounding or creating and improvising like Giacomo Gates, no one comes close. In fact, he is so far out in front, they have eliminated second place. Luminosity is exactly right.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Okay, let's get the negative stuff out of the way first. I remember someone once describing Gordon Lightfoot's voice as "flat beer in a barrel." That sort of fits Giacamo Gates' voice; and because of the lack of brightness, he sings flat once too often.
But in the end, who cares. I love this c.d./d.v.d. and what it stands for.
Giacamo Gates, who is a nonpareil scat-singer and who sings with as much expression and soul as anybody around, has knocked out a wonderful c.d. What he and his band have done is to hand-pick great songs that seem to be hardly ever covered. I was left after the first listen with a basic question: "Why doesn't anyone else do these songs?"
Consider a great, neglected Bobby Troup chestnut, "Hungry Man," one of the wittiest in his songbook. Or consider the old Ink Spots' staple, "Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat"; this may be the best cover of this old song since Bugs Bunny! Or consider the wonderful old Johnny Mercer tune that you rarely hear any more, "P.S. I Love You" (most certainly not to be confused with the Beatles' later version).
Or consider Jimi Hendrix' "Up From the Skies." I loved it when Rickie Lee Jones covered this on her great "Pop Pop" c.d. of 15 years ago. Why don't more singers sing this one?
And Mr. Gates pays homage to my all-time favorite vocalese, Jon Hendricks' homage to Ellington's "What Am I Here For?"
The instrumentalists on this c.d. (John DiMartino, p.; Ray Drummond, bs.; Greg Bandy, dr.; Bob Kindred, ten. sax; and Tomy Lombardozzi, g.;) are outstanding, inspired and solid. They all seem to have been infused by the spirit of Coltrane, Tyner, Jones and Garrison.
Altogether, this is a c.d. that reminds me of why I love jazz. These are musicians, not especially well known, who are playing for the joy of playing. Listening to this reminded me of the time the Beatles considered having one last concert, and McCartney wanted to do it in a pub, billed as "Rickey and the Redcoats." This is a "Rickey and the Redcoats" album, and I highly recommend it to all for that reason. RC
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2010
I'm a HUGE fan of Sinatra and Dean Martin and all things jazz (new and old). Giacomo elicits a similarly beautiful and unique interpretation of his material. His phrasing is silken, his intonation impeccable and his delivery every bit as good as the vaunted Rat Pack.
Why this man is not in the same hemisphere as far as fame and fortune as Harry Connick is beyond this writer. The talent and musical beauty and intricacies are there.
Mr Giacomo, you need an agent, desperately. The world needs to hear you.