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Julia Farino

Don’t Talk To Me Of Love

by Ian Mann

April 28, 2006


Farino's vocals are clear, well enunciated, mildly flirtatious and very English.

This is the first album to be released by the singer and actress Julia Farino.

Her present quartet have been working together for four years, and at one time were the resident band at London’s Dorchester Hotel having played at many festivals - especially those focussing on mainstream jazz.

Farino has sung with many of Britain’s leading mainstream musicians including reeds players Alan Barnes and Julian Marc Stringle plus trombonist Campbell Burnap, all of whom appear on this album. She has also appeared with Roy Williams, Digby Fairweather and Derek Nash among others.

Here, Farino covers nine standards, plus three originals by the quartet’s bass player David Moses, one of which is the album’s title track. With so many singers covering standards exclusively it’s good to see Farino trying something different. Moses’ songs are in keeping with the style of the standards and stand up well.

On some songs the quartet are augmented by a cast of horn players who play imaginative arrangements mainly penned by Moses. Featured players include Barnes, Stringle and Burnap who all play well and trumpeter Ben Cummings also shows up strongly.

Farino’s regular quartet of Moses, drummer Charlie Stratford and pianist Phil Mead support her well throughout. I’ve always had a soft spot for Mead’s playing since the days when he played regularly in Hereford and the Welsh Borders with bassist Erika Lyons and drummer John Gibbon. They were usually backing whichever guest soloist John could tempt out of London for a breath of fresh air and a whistle stop tour of the Borders. Featured soloists included Ray Warleigh, Duncan Lamont, Dick Pearce, Phil Lee and the late great Dick Heckstall-Smith among others. However, I digress.

Farino’s vocals are clear, well enunciated, mildly flirtatious and very English. As enjoyable as the horn enlivened songs are she is probably at her best on the two quietest, most intimate songs “Nature Boy” and “The Meaning Of The Blues” where the only accompaniment is Dominic Ashworth’s acoustic guitar.

This is a more imaginative album than many of it’s type and is well arranged and programmed. However, there is still far too much of this sort of thing out there in the marketplace for anyone to get too excited about it.

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