Stefano di Battista: Parker's Mood (2005)
Recreating a bit of jazz history, Stefano di Battista displays the kind of blazing-fast technical wizardry that brought Charlie Parker to our attention when bebop was just a youngster. Alternately, he adds tender ballads with his heart on his shirtsleeve to demonstrate that side of Bird which appealed to the lover within each of us. His retrospective performance honors the memory well and pays homage to both Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Trumpeter Flavio Boltro appears on four tracks.
Di Battista goes over the top on "Parker's Mood," giving the piece considerably more emotion than the original. With a superb studio sound reproduction and an exceptional balance between alto, piano, bass, and drums, the album gives us a memorable affirmation of this theme and others associated with Bird.
Together with Boltro, the saxophonist turns a cohesive affair into one that holds many intimate surprises. Rather than translate each piece note for note, di Battista and his musical partners work in unexpected jaunts from time to time. Their interpretation holds true to the original while adding fresh new qualities. Clear, crisp, and musically accurate, the saxophonist's homage to bebop's founding fathers serves us well. History gave us Bird. Di Battista gives us a stellar reminder of the power that flows from that unforgotten source.
Track Listing: Salt Peanuts; Embraceable You; Night in Tunisia; Parker's Mood; Confirmation; Donna Lee; Laura; Hot House; Congo Blues; 'Round Midnight.
Personnel: Stefano di Battista- alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Kenny Barron- piano; Rosario Bonacorso- bass; Herlin Riley- drums; Flavio Boltro- trumpet.