When we billed Dan Mastroianni’s Tears and Whispers as a ‘unique project’ in the initial press release on our Masters We Love series, we meant it. This really is an album quite like no other!
Recorded in 1984, Mastroianni recorded his album with banks of keyboards, and a few musician buddies. The ‘experimental’ nature of the album shines through on nearly every track. This was new technology, and it sometimes sounds like Mastroianni was finding out exactly what each machine could do, as he did it! He also provided the edgy vocals, making for a very idiosyncratic artist/writer/producer album.
Many of you will now know the brilliant uptempo boogie of Just One Touch (which was featured on BBE’s own Americana 2 compilation last year) but whatever you are expecting from this ultra-rare private press, you are likely to be surprised. Style, tempos and moods changes throughout, the only constant being Dan Mastroianni’s harmonic adventurousness, and primitive, expansive synth sounds that never quite let up. You can tell he was having fun making the album, and was coming from a place all of his own, though one might guess he’d listened to a fair amount of Weather Report, Yellow Magic Orchestra, George Duke and funk/boogie before he committed himself to wax.
Some highlights: You and I is in floaty mid-tempo soul mode and features some fine soloing from Dan. Lead On is blue-eyed boogie, bringing to mind the likes of David Bendeth; Million and One is nothing short of trippy with its manic bassline and swelling synth chords. Blame It On Love has enough changes of direction for three tracks, and again showcases what a good player Dan was when he soloes. Shine could conceivably get the two-step vote. And look out throughout for some noteworthy playing from Dan’s brother on reeds.
As Dan says, this album was a ‘fusion’ concept in every sense: a fusion of man and machine, of ‘carbon and silicon’, mind and matter… it was recorded as a labour of love, and now, three decades later, it’s time for the rest of the world to share the love!
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