Not too long after purchasing Turrisi's album* I went to see him playing live in J.J. Smyths. Tarab seems to be the name of Turrisi's backing band, yet there seemed to be no overlap with the last time we saw them. Still, you know what they say – if it's Francesco and your granny on fretless bass, it's Francesco Turrisi & Tarab.
Funnily enough, I do not remember too much about the actual music at this, but I remember a fair bit about other aspects of the event. It was a lot fuller than the other J.J. Smyths concert I have been to. Maybe the local musicians are able to pull in bigger crowds, as every one of the players has local pals to come along and see them. There was also a good bit more crowd noise at this – perhaps people feel more entitled to chat away to each other if it's only one of their mates playing on stage.
The one big musical thing about this I do remember is Tarab being joined by cellist Kate Ellis of the Crash Ensemble for a couple of tunes. I was struck here by both the cello's range as an instrument, and by Ellis's skill with it. I would not hitherto have thought of it as a jazz instrument, but it fitted in well here. But I liked the whole concert, not just the stuff she played on. Turrisi is himself a great musician, and he seems able to gel well with whomever he plays with.
*which I seem to have left unreviewed. Bad Panda.