Guarneri Jazz Quartet

From My Heart

Personnel: Mario Guarneri, trumpet/flugelhorn; Calvin Keys, guitar; Kash Killion, bass; Peter Magadini, drums

Perhaps its because the world is being overrun by rampant hyperbole and a "decibels mean dollars" mentality I find this album by trumpeter Mario Guarneri so refreshing. Or it may simply be that this is a showcase for four highly accomplished and sensitive musicians who remind us that musicality, honesty, and the shared joy of interacting with each other is at the heart of a wonderful listening experience. I tend to believe it is the later.

Throughout his liner notes Mr. Guarneri refers to the importance of family in his life; his parents, his children, and his own siblings. From hearing the interplay between Mr. Guarneri and his compatriots it would appear that these four have achieved a closeness akin to family as well. The focus shifts from member to member throughout the album but itís clear whoever has the spotlight at any moment has the unconditional and respectful support of the other three.

The quartet touches all forms and levels of emotion from the playful opening tune "J&A" to the introspective "Lament for Peace" (which, while taken at a tempo that would make a dirge seem snappy, is spellbinding). Among the many gems on the album are Kash Killion pulling rich, human sounds out of his upright bass and the leader's trumpet which can range from puckish to haunting.

From My Heart is not just a title; it's the group's credo. Make it yours, too.

by Stan Bann

(Available at Jazz Now Direct CD Store)

New Sounds - December 2003/January 2004 CD Reviews