The harmonica, as genres go, is
most often associated with the blues. Itís also used as an occasional
background or solo instrument in other styles. Enrico Granafei shows
that itís also an effective lead instrument in jazz with Alone and
Together (Consolidated Artist Productions, 2013).
For the first six tracks, the lineup consists of Granafei, pianist Amina
Figarova, bassist Rick Crane and drummer Billy Hart. After that, itís
mostly a tour de force by Granafei as he plays some combination of
harmonica, acoustic guitar, shaker, hands-free chromatic harmonica, DB
guitar (a combination bass and guitar), nylon string guitar and vocals.
Trumpeter Wallace Roney, violinist Vitali Imereli and guitarist Dave
Stryker are among the additional players.
ďChristinaĒ is a tranquil ballad that allows Granafei plenty of freedom.
The accompanying musicians contribute nicely, but itís mostly about the
leader. Granafei mixes composer Buster Williamsí melody with
improvisation. Figarova delivers an elegant middle solo.
Granafie brings an upbeat arrangement to Cole Porterís ďI Love You.Ē
Figarova, Crane and Hart are firmly engaged throughout, and each enjoys
a moment to stretch out.
Granafei owns Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, New Jersey. Alone and
Together is his second release as a leader. It shows his diverse
skills as well as infusing a bit of Granfeiís classical side with jazz.