Jazz CD Reviews
Enrico Granafei, chromatic harmonica/guitar/vocals – In Search of the Third Dimension – MilesHighRecords.com
Published on March 17, 2008
We’ve all seen/heard Bob Dylan and others playing a harmonica in a holder while also playing the guitar or piano. The thing is, more complex jazz requires a chromatic harmonica rather than the simple diatonic model they used and an extra hand to push the button on its side in and out to access the sharps and flats. Enrico Granafei was first an Italian classical guitarist, but he discovered the amazing jazz harmonicist Toots Thielemans and immediately taught himself how to play jazz harmonica. In 2002 he met Vern Smith, who had invented the Hands-Free Chromatic Harmonica – it has a mouthpiece which can be moved by the lips just 4mm in order to switch to the sharps and flats. This vertical movement is what Granafei refers to with his 3rd Dimension subtitle.
The ten tracks cover mostly standards from the U.S. and Brazil; there is also a lovely tune by composer/arranger Claus Ogerman, Favors. Granafei even does two vocals, becoming a triple-threat musician on his Third Dimension CD. This would have been a good opportunity for an enhanced CD so listeners could watch Granafei doing his slight-of-hand playing. Perhaps on YouTube, as a number of music groups have been doing lately?
TrackList: Out of Nowhere, Meditation, Autumn Leaves, You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To, Only Trust Your Heart, Bag’s Groove, The Shadow of Your Smile, Wave, Favors, Calabrossa.
– John Henry