Steve Grossman, tenor saxophone; Gianluca Renzi, acoustic bass; Giampaolo Ascolese, drums.
There's a lot of wonderful improvised music emanating from Italy these days, and if any generalizations can be made relative to the caliber of the performances, the next generation of musicians have taken the art of listening and interaction to the next level. In nine contrasting pieces, including Monk's "I Mean You" and Blue Mitchell's rarely recorded "Funji Mama," Ascolese's powerful rhythmic drive effectively serves Grossman but does not overpower him. And anyone who questions whether chromatic invention can exist in relation to conventional chord sequences should listen carefully to Renzi's solo on the Miles Davis piece, "Four," which is awash in a full spectrum of color. There are no overdubs or electronic samples here; this is a heartfelt, real-time performance in the very best sense. Highly recommended.
by James D. Armstrong, Jr.
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