Musician and educator Dr. Michael Torregano has titled this new album well in terms of the energy and optimism that pours through as a the playlist fills the room. Morning Inspiration is everything the jazz and blues fan needs in order to rise up and face the day with a smile – it’s also increasingly impressive from a musical perspective, adding further fuel to the fire and helping cement this as a go-to project.
Not only is the music a simple joy to let play, Torregano offers up some decidedly memorable melodies and progressions – the opening and title track comes complete with an instrumental flicker of a hook that undoubtedly leaves its tune lingering with you long after listening.
Mood-wise, Live Wires steps into a smoother, perhaps more mellow and classically free-flowing jazz style – still in sync with the overall vibe though and the instrumental set-up. Then you get the aptly titled bounce and entrancing rhythm and bass-work of The Groove, adding further eclecticism and helping start the project off in a manner that holds close to your interest. This one rises up beautifully and evolves to become a full and warm soundscape of rhythmic, retro dashes of expression.
Ancestor’s Call redirects thing yet again, significantly so – ambient sounds from tribes of the past emerge amidst delicate echoes of music and nature. Then you get the classically smooth Torregano sound coming through as a notable celebration of the past and a sheer burst of love for music and performance in line with that. Superb piano work really sets the mood well.
Keeping things consistently interesting is something this album has easily achieved. Midnight Creep is a definite highlight in that respect, it stands out for its cooler, late-night vibe, the spacious nature of the arrangement, and the subtle swagger with which the melody appears. Then you get the quicker pace and salsa-like movement and groove of Mojitos After Dark to further that late-night aura with a little energy and motivation.
Retro tones shine well through vintage keys on Saturday Night Sexy. Then another classic groove emerges, complete with a rise and fall sentiment that’s quickly hypnotic. Cruisin afterwards smooths things out for an again perfectly titled piece that seems well suited to a short drive or journey without time restrictions. There’s a lightness to the notes, the octave chosen here, and it works well at this late stage.
Blues For Plooky is another highlight, a big-band track with a gorgeously joyful bounce and melody to it – as memorable as the opener and a simple delight to turn up loud. Then the stylish bass leads the way once more for The Next Chapter, prompting you to consider the underlying intentions and artistic direction of the whole project. Again, this near-melancholic yet still optimistic and confident piece adds something cool to the collection.
In The Zone rounds things up and sees the album finish in an energetic and engaging manner. A touch of vocals help create a sense of togetherness, and that melodic back and forth – that call and response – helps present familiarity and something that’s easy to like. The jazz hi-hats stand out well alongside the contrasting bass. A great way to finish and an album that’s absolutely on par, at the very least, with some of the best new jazz and blues instrumental releases out there. Dr. Michael Torregano is undeniably one to look out for.