The first time I caught the jazz trumpeter Dominick Farinacci live was at the 2003 Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival. Back then, he was a sophomore at Julliard, and a member of the late jazz trumpeter Marcus Belgrave’s Trumpet Summit, comprised of Sean Jones, Chris Johnson, Corey Wilkes, Dwight Adams, and John Douglas. Farinacci was a stand out among those then up-and-comers.
Since participating in that summit, Farinacci has built quite a reputation, getting a big break with Jazz at Lincoln Center, touring the Middle East as a jazz ambassador, and making eight well-reviewed jazz albums as a bandleader.
Last month, Mack Avenue Records put out “Short Stories,” his major label debut. Farinacci has traveled the world, absorbing many cultures, and he’s become a pro mixing jazz with his diverse cultural experiences and influences.
A sold-out audience at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café Saturday night experienced Farinacci’s eclectic style of jazz. He was at the cafe promoting “Short Stories,” and he performed with his current band pianist Kevin Bales, drummer Quincy Phillips, bassist Aidan Plank, and percussionist Mathias Kunzli.
Farinacci's band fed the Dirty Dog audience cuts from the new album, opening the concert with “Bamboleo “ followed by a marvelous take on “Black Coffee,” that rivals saxophonist Sonny Criss’s take on his 1966 Prestige Records album “This Is Criss!”.
Farinacci is a showman through and through. His playing can both speed up and slow your heartbeat. The entire concert he served strong solos that’ll surely be talking points in weeks to come. There was also a comedic component to Farinacci’s presentation. He poked fun at his sidemen, prefaced each number with a humorous story of its conception.
During one solo he manipulated a glass in the bell of the trumpet to produce a muted sound. Before the concert commenced, he plugged the new album by walking through the audience holding up a large photo of the cover of “Short Stories”. Farinacci solos on “Tango,” and “Soldier’s Things,” were serious business.
A prize moment came when Farinacci gave the floor to Kunzli and Phillips, on “Senor Blues,” and they pulled off a simultaneous solo. Listening to Farinacci, I imagined how mind blowing it must’ve been to watch trumpeters such as Harry James and Bix Beiderbecke perform in small jazz clubs back in the day.