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Review: Francesco Lo Castro, Bruno D'Ambra - Songs For Duke
Album Cover - Songs For Duke
Songs For Duke
 Artist: Francesco Lo Castro, Bruno D'Ambra
 Album: Songs For Duke
 Date of Release: 2012/07/09
 Label: Flocastro Records
 Cat. No.: FLR007CD
 Country of Release: UK
 Genre/s: Jazz

 Sub-Genre/s: Contemporary, Swing, Cool Jazz
 Type: Studio
   Time: 45:50
   Date of Review: 2012/07/22
   Web Site: ,
   Sample Track

Purchasing Info

Songs For Duke

Francesco Lo Castro and Bruno D'Ambra's Songs For Duke, released on Flocastro Records earlier this month, is their nylon string guitar/piano duo debut release, and a highly polished and sophisticated one at that.

The inspiration, as almost immediately becomes clear, is of course none other than 'The Duke' himself, Duke Ellington, and the two virtuosi's love of his music. Sometimes, this inspiration manifests itself more directly, sometimes more obliquely. A further element in Songs For Duke's inspiration comes in the form of the name of a London Southbank venue where Lo Castro and D'Ambra have a regular residency - 'The Archduke,' a subtle touch of humour that would not have been lost on Duke.

The nine tracks of Songs For Duke are entirely originals by Lo Castro and D'Ambra, either composed individually or jointly. These sometimes reference Ellington's music directly, sometimes subtly, obliquely, and sometimes only in that they were written for him in broadly his style, or simply inspired by emotions evoked in the composers by his music. The compositions are an absolute delight and a fitting, loving tribute to Ellington. They always strive for Ellington's powerful sophistication and his simple, direct approach to forms and melodies, and they achieve this with great panache, maintaining this even in their improvisations. The subtle swing is an absolute delight, too.

Both Lo Castro and D'Ambra reveal themselves as players of the highest calibre, with an incredible chemistry between themselves. Their relaxed, sophisticated style could be the envy of many more experienced, senior players. As for substance, this might perhaps best be summed up by saying that one cannot help feeling that 'The Duke' might have liked and appreciated this gentle homage.

Brilliantly consistent, Songs For Duke is gently but utterly mesmerising. It is the kind of album one could easily play all day long. Elegance, sophistication, beauty, charm, subtlety, and a kind of magic, this brilliant album has them all in abundance, and more. Lo Castro and D'Ambra should leave their indelible mark on the British scene with this little masterpiece!

Francesco Lo Castro and Bruno D'Ambra's Songs For Duke is too delightful, delicious and delectable to miss out on. It is an absolute must have for any jazz aficionado, and particularly so for any Ellington fan. You simply have to beg, steal, borrow, or preferably buy this magnificent album.

© 2012 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

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Track List:

 1. Duke's Song (D'Ambra / Lo Castro) - 5:05
 2. Archduke (Lo Castro / D'Ambra) - 4:13
 3. From A to B (Lo Castro) - 5:12
 4. Kafka (D'Ambra) - 4:52
 5. London Night (Lo Castro) - 5:53
 6. Deja Vu (D'Ambra) - 5:30
 7. Good Intentions (D'Ambra / Lo Castro) - 4:50
 8. When You Said What I Said (Lo Castro) - 4:22
 9. The Doll (Lo Castro) - 5:56

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Francesco Lo Castro - nylon string guitar
Bruno D'Ambra - piano


Purchasing Info:

Songs For Duke can be purchased from:

the artist

Amazon UK

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