Friday, February 24, 2017

Pitstop: Jack Martini

photo by Riccardo Niar
My discovery of Italian singer/songwriter Jack Martini was the direct result of my appearance at a show late last year at Arlene's Grocery in Manhattan where I had no real idea who any of the band's were or sounded like. A college friend was in town on tour with his band Dreambeaches and the stars aligned in such a way that I happened to be free. Jack Martini and his rag tag collective of incredibly talented fellow Berklee students were easily the night's highlight. Their numbers approaching Typhoon levels of "How do you fit all those people on the stage", their set was a triumphant and free almagam of jazz and pop without really adhering to any preconceived notions of any of the genres Martini cruises though and yet his music succeeds for his ability to take what he needs to create surprisingly simple pop gems.

Perhaps due to his worldliness or in spite of it, the strength of Jack Martini's songcraft lies both in his easy wit and intelligent turns of phrase he effortlessly threads through much of lyricism. Despite the absolutely stellar arrangements, songs like "Unimpressed People" or "Pleasantly Surprised" stay with you more for the beguiling simplicity of Martini's universal lyrical themes. And songs like "Kevin Spacey" and "Apricot Love" which tone down the full band in favor of emotion stirring minimalism are even more indicative that Martini doesn't need his pop overtures to make his songs stick. His Marmalade Love EP is a lovely collection of songs that show a great deal of potential for the young songwriter. Hopefully it's not too long before Martini and his collaborators show there's even more where that came from.

You can stream Jack Martini's Marmalade Love EP now.

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