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Review on Joe Tossini and Friends - Lady Of Mine

Released on Joe Tossini Music

And now for something completely different: back in 1989 Joe Tossini, an Italian who traveled the world and then settled in the US, made a record named “Lady Of Mine” and he, so the story goes, made it quite out of the blue, without being a trained musician or having any kind of professional background (that means he made it like most of todays producers of electronic music do it …the times they are a-changing). Not really surprisingly the interest in this record has been negligible but over the years some people got into it with the result that the record got expensive on discogs. So far so good, and I actually never heard of the album until some days ago tbh, but the album is digitally available now, so I had a listen and it turned out to be a rare gem.

“Lady Of Mine” has a jazzy Latin lounge music flair to it, with Joe crooning over an by all means opulent band of guitars, horns, backing singers and all that, yet it totally lacks the glossy perfectionism and schlocky suavity, lounge music from the 1980s usually suffers from. On the contrary “Lady Of Mine” seems to be not produced at all, it’s just the band playing, the singer singing and that’s it. It’s obvious that Tossini is not a trained vocalist and the sound design sometimes may be a little uneven or holey, yet this (of course) is the records quality. Tossini did it completely without smoke and mirrors but with the confidence and frankness of someone who does it all just for himself, not for selling, not for becoming popular, not for creating the opus magnum people will talk about a hundred years later. And it works because of his charme and charisma and the effortless, still absolutely heartfelt performance he delivered. Songs as the albums starter “If I Should Fall In Love”, with a samba groove straight out of the cheapest Casio you could find in 1989, a trumpet full of sentiment, transparent airy arrangements and the touching vocals are amazing, as intimate as humbly theatrical, indeed similar to the Bossa Nova of Brazils 1960s (they had no Casio back then but the would have used it if they had). Occasionally Italian lyrics support the records vibe even more, making “Sulla Luna” a truly enchanting tune, indeed perfect for looking at the moon on a warm night, sour times behind and good times ahead. And hell knows why “Wild Dream” includes these ghastly synth bleeps strangely disturbing the beautiful harmonies and rich melodies. Fantastic! Your average producer wouldn’t do it that way, Joe Tossini did because he wanted to and in result “Lady Of Mine” is quite singular: serious, but light as a breeze, entertainment but serious. Highly interesting music, highly recommended!

Written by João Geck
21.02.2019 - 17:15 – by Hendrik Warnke / hendrik@wordandsound.net

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