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CD REVIEW: The Sandro Dominelli Quintet – “Cafe Varzé Jazz”
By Stacey Board - 12/20/2003 - 11:51 PM EST

Artist: The Sandro Dominelli Quintet
Album: “Cafe Varzé Jazz”
CD Review: Sure fire recipe for wonderful jazz:
Hold the elevator.
Mix one dry martini to taste.
Garnish with one olive and one jalepeno to compliment the already intoxicating cocktail “Cafe Varzé Jazz”

You don’t have to understand what the heck a pentatonic scale is to understand by the first few seconds of the first track of this CD that it is just packed with shockingly good music and musicians. This is not just a bunch of brainiacs bloodlessly tossing out theory oneupmanship at each other. It is a musical assemblage of creativity, passion and precision.

Not everyone likes to ride in a Rolls Royce. Personally, I drive Prius. But it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate something more luxurious when I see it. Or hear it. Yes, that is my way of admitting I’m not a jazz expert. But man oh man I know good when I hear good. “Café Varze Jazz” is like a Rolls Royce you pull up beside at a light to hear latin music wafting from the CD player. It is luxurious and spicy at the same time. The music is energetic and energizing, comprising many latin influences.

The composer of the material is Donald Varze. He has a gift for accessible melody that is at the same time sophisticated and rich. The melodies seem timeless. Glamorous, when that meant something classy.

The featured artist, Sandro Dominelli, is an exquisite percussionist. His work covers the entire spectrum from rock solid to shimmering. He finds every nuance in the rhythms created by Varzé. Dominelli picked no slouches for his quintet either. They are all, deservedly, highly acclaimed in their own right.

You almost can’t go wrong when you assemble fine music and fine musicians. Any jazz lover or even liker would pat themselves on the back for finding this CD to enjoy.

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