Recorded live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the spring of 2006, Jazz Impressions 1
is an inspired, piano-led set of straight-ahead jazz, co-led by Venezuelan-born pianist Silvano Monasterios, bassist Mark Egan and drummer Paul Wertico.
Monasterios, who regularly performs with Latin jazz percussionist Sammy Figueroa, demonstrates astonishing facility throughout. The notes fly fast and furious on modern jazz gems like Wayne Shorter's "Wildflower, Bill Evans' "Very Early and Steve Swallow's "Falling Grace. The pianist's take-no-prisoners approach inspires intuitive group interplay, especially on his free-wheeling original "Jerusalem and the standard "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise.
Egan's fretless bass dances gracefully around Monasterios' linesreminiscent of the way Eddie Gomez used to poke and prod at Bill Evans in the 1970s. The veteran bassist, who came into prominence some thirty years ago as a member of guitarist Pat Metheny's group, solos with the kind of melodic playfulness usually lost to overzealous electric bassists. His vigorous and inventive lines on "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise are a disc highlight.
Wertico, also a Metheny alumnus, swings tastefully and solos with dynamic sensibilities. The Chicago native gets in the last word on the bombastic closer "Avila/Drum Solo.
With an abundance of technical flourishes and unwavering camaraderie, Jazz Impressions 1 is an impressive release. Hopefully these three stalwarts have plans to develop into a regular working unit.
Personnel: Silvano Monasterios: piano; Mark Egan: electric bass; Paul Wertico: drums.