Sal Mosca Quartet: You Go to My Head (2008)
The music on this CD was recorded in Mosca's Mount Vernon, NY studio in February and March, 2004, with a quartet of relatively younger, like-minded musicians: Jimmy Halperin (tenor saxophone), Don Messina (bass) and Bill Chattin (drums). It's clearly convivial company for Mosca, one of the secret treasures of jazz piano, as the group negotiates a series of standards, Charlie Parker tunes and two Tristano-school classics: Marsh's "Background Music" and Konitz' "Sub Conscious-Lee."
There's a kinetic brilliance to much of what Mosca touches, whether it's flying runs and percussive punctuations or extraordinary two-hand inventions in which one seems simultaneously to shadow and expand on the other. Halperin is a fluid foil, playing tenor with an alto-like lightness of tone and there's often a sense of real collective inventionthe friction of improvised counterpointin the music. It's increasingly unusual to hear a band that can find fresh harmonic inspiration in material as familiar as "Somebody Loves Me" and "How High the Moon," but Mosca and company consistently do it here.
Track Listing: Somebody Loves Me; You Go to My Head; Scrapple from the Apple; Sub Conscious-Lee; Nice Work If You Can Get It; I Can't Get Started; How High the Moon; Groovin' High; Background Music.
Personnel: Sal Mosca, piano; Jimmy Halperin, tenor saxophone; Don Messina, bass; Bill Chattin, drums.
Record Label: Blue Jack Jazz