by Thomas Bedward July 19, 2019
Based in the heart of New Orleans, Dr Michael Torregano is a jazz pianist and educator who has spent his life in love with music. After earning three degrees in music, including a doctorate in Music Education from Boston University, Michael has gone on to lead a strong career, teaching and working alongside esteemed contemporary players like Nicholas Payton and Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, as well as Allen Toussaint, Dave Bartholomew, Donald Harrison, Victor Goines, Rita Coolidge, Lowell Fulsom, and George Benson.
A pianist since the age of four, Michael is still motivated by music every day of his life, building his own style on a blend of traditional New Orleans sounds and classic smooth jazz. Influenced by iconic artists including Oscar Peterson, George Benson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, and John Coltrane, Michael has created a unique, personal sound that he’s refined over decades of performing. Having performed alongside his brother Joseph Torregano's quartet for thirty years, and with his own group for the last twenty, Michael’s work has drawn comparisons to Teddy Wilson, Joe Sample, and Herbie Hancock, but as ‘Morning Inspiration’ shows, it isn’t easily defined by such simple measures.
His fifth album as a leader, ‘Morning Inspiration’ contains eleven original compositions that portray the "Feel Good, Grooving Music” style that Michael has crafted. Presenting a timeless sound that has been built with refreshing, modern energy, the new album has all the hallmarks of a timeless jazz epic, joining together easy listening vibes with a vibrant big band sound and smooth jazz foundations. Conveying a series of emotive and diverse pieces that all shine with an unshakeable big-band aesthetic. Tracks such as ‘Live Wires’, ‘Midnight Creep’, and ‘Saturday Night Sexy’ all spark with a modern touch, combining evocative melodies with flourishes of tempered brass and an unshakeable vibe, capturing the many shades of the album in beautiful form.
In his early work, Michael has always said his goal is to make people feel good about themselves and their current situations through music, and with ‘Morning Inspiration’, he’s certainly shown that he has the skills, training, and passion to do just that. One of New Orleans' most acclaimed and impressive musicians, the new album is a deft and expansive taste of what Michael and his band have to offer.
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