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Jazz - Released September 25, 2012 | Sunnyside

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Jazz - Released February 15, 2019 | Sunnyside

Jazz - Released April 27, 2007 | Sonorama

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Jazz - Released July 8, 2016 | Inner City Records

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By the late '70s, a young Carlos Franzetti had already made studio recordings and scored for films in Mexico and his native Argentina before arriving in the United States. This debut recording as a leader reflects not only his orchestral side, but his love for complex melodies and the jazz fusion of the day. There are tracks with a huge string and brass complement, and a smaller New York City-based combo featuring players like tenor saxophonist George Young, the great Latin jazz flute master Mauricio Smith, and trumpeter Lew Soloff, among others. Franzetti plays piano and electric keyboards, but his main role is that of composer, arranger, and conductor, as these groups make movie soundtrack-styled music and electric jazz parallel to that of Chick Corea. In the contemporary vein, Franzetti's lively piano sets up the under-three-minute "Something from the South," a spirited, bright small group samba that is accented by the ARP synthesizer, while "Pandora" features the N.Y.C. horns in a extremely busy chart that reflects the speed-demon melody lines Corea favors, a faster Brazilian beat, the excellent drumming of Portinho, and Young's tenor. Young is a peer of Michael Brecker, and his Seventh Avenue neo-bop sound takes over on the meaty nine-minute commercial seduction tune "Mambo Tango" as Franzetti melodically doubles on acoustic guitar and Fender Rhodes, and leads a "la la la" vocal chant stemming from his heritage. The orchestral side of Franzetti comes to the forefront during "Gravitational Forces," a multifaceted acid trip as strings and horns push or pull the stretched harmonics in a very film noir manner. A pensive "Pavane" is another instrumental track that combines the lushness of stairstep strings with flute and the Rhodes electric piano very similar to John McLaughlin's symphonic fusion on his groundbreaking album Apocalypse. Singer David Lucas is incorrectly credited for "Pavane," but his name does appear on the title selection, a pop-jazz tune where his artistic Frank Sinatra-type crooning countermands the large string section, concluding in an instrumental chase scene motif that seems disconnected without a video reference. Clearly, Franzetti's talent is front and center, perhaps sounding a bit dated on this 2008 CD reissue -- nevertheless, this is the seed for more fantastic journeys as his career as a jazz-influenced musician gained momentum.
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Jazz - Released June 24, 2016 | Sunnyside

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Jazz - Released April 1, 2014 | Sunnyside

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Jazz - Released August 11, 2009 | Sunnyside

Although Argentinean-born jazz pianist Carlos Franzetti is well-versed in both South American and Cuban styles, don't think of Mambo Tango as strictly a Latin recording. Sticking exclusively to solo piano for this session, his take of "Have You Met Miss Jones" could easily be mistaken for one of the neo-bop players who emerged during the 1980s and 1990s, with inventive improvisations against a walking irregular bassline. It is surprising that relatively few pianists have recorded Gary McFarland's moving "Gary's Waltz," a favorite of the late Bill Evans, who played and recorded it numerous times. But Franzetti's approach is less dramatic and alters the melody in a subtle, infectious way that is far removed from Evans' interpretation. He also tackles Evans' popular "Waltz for Debbie," shading it with an Erroll Garner-like bouncing rhythm for a time against his dazzling improvising in the upper keyboard. Franzetti's originals are equally of interest. His delightful "Mambo Tango" combines the two styles in a masterful performance, while "Milonga del Adios" is a bittersweet Latin ballad that deserves to have lyrics. To wrap this top-notch CD, Carlos Franzetti offers a tantalizing, deliberate setting of Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)." Highly recommended. ~ Ken Dryden
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Jazz - Released September 9, 2008 | Sunnyside

Pianist/arranger/conductor Carlos Franzetti has been dreaming of a film noir project for many years, and it comes to full fruition on this program of very well chosen and diverse movie themes. The City of Prague Philharmonic is tasteful, restrained, and subtle, providing a lush feeling but never overwhelming. Then there's alto saxophonist Andy Fusco, a veteran jazz musician steeped in the tradition of boppers Charlie Parker and Phil Woods. Would it have been that he had taken the more subtle approach of Frank Morgan or Paul Desmond, this project could be more successful. While vibrant and kinetic, Fusco ofttimes plays far too many notes, altering the taste level of this otherwise wondrous and beautiful album. In his more restrained moments, Fusco's calmer alto is perfectly wedded with the strings during "The Bad and the Beautiful," the ballad from "Alfie," and the refined "The Voyage of the Damned." Approaching macabre, "A Place in the Sun" has that feeling of impending doom with a solo sax segment, but a chiming piano part reveals a dominant elegance. Three tracks feature Franzetti himself on piano -- the bluesy "I Want to Live," with vibes and flute accents from the Philharmonic muting Fusco, Herbie Hancock's lovely "Still Time" sans strings, and "Taxi Driver," perfectly evocative of the mystery of big city late night. There's a neat medium swing arrangement of "Girl Talk" and good interplay between the sax and strings, while the sexy "Body Heat" brings light, transparent vistas to the sensual dance, and "Last Tango in Paris," while the ultimate instrumental torch song, is nonetheless shaken and stirred by Fusco's flurries of notes. How you appreciate his role in this music depends on your taste level, as it can either be a turn on or an irritation. What is not as evident unless you listen closely is the piano playing for the bulk of this material by Allison Brewster Franzetti -- a diamond among diamonds. Nonetheless this is clearly a finely crafted contemporary jazz recording that stands out from others of its ilk. ~ Michael G. Nastos