Stephane Spira & Giovanni Mirabassi: Spirabassi (2009)
The journey begins with "21 Place Des Vosges," Spira's father antique shop address, with the duo demonstrating its lyrical capabilities. Spira sings with his soprano sax, dialoging with Mirabassi, who answers with colorful and romantic interludes. This is a perfect choice for the first track; a comprehensive and delightful representation of the entire set.
Following with "Twilight Song," rendered as a medium tempo ballad and connecting beautifully to the previous track, it's Kenny Barron meets Spirabassi, the saxophone akin to a bird taking flight above the city, and the piano bringing it back to solid ground and setting the pace of life.
Other noteworthy tracks include "Alfonsina Y El Mar," written in remembrance of Alfonsina Storni , one of the most important Latin-American poets of the modernist period. Her death inspired Ariel Ramirez and Félix Luna to compose the Latin Jazz standard, "Alfonsina and the Sea," which has been performed by Mercedes Sosa, Nana Mouskouri and many others. The duo's rendition is right at home on this album.
John Coltrane's "Dear Lord" is the only track where Spira uses his alto saxhis primary instrument is sopranobeginning with a long and expressive solo that pays tribute to his jazz heroes. Both players maintain the romantic and melodic feel of the album.
Spirabassi ends appropriately with Edú Lobo's "Pra Dizer Adeus" ("Time to Say Goodbye"), reaching closure with his father's demise. This standard has been recorded by many a great name in jazz. A perfect ending to a CD that's more like a booka page-turner, in fact, where everything connects and flows, coming full circle to acceptance at the end.
Track Listing: 21 Place Des Vosges; Twilight Song; Spirabassi; Alfonsina Y El Mar; N.Y. Time; Dear Lord; Samba Phil; Sabiha; Mata Hari; Pra Dizer Adeus.
Personnel: Stephane Spira: soprano and tenor saxophone; Giovanni Mirabassi: piano.
Record Label: Bee Jazz