Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

373

Francesco Cafiso Quartet: Angelica

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Angelica claims a spot as a superior quartet set—alto saxophone and a rhythm section—right at the very beginning, not with the Duke Ellington-penned title tune, but with a Billy Strayhorn gem, "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing." Italian saxophonist and jazz prodigy, Francesco Cafiso—just nineteen years old at the time this music was laid down—ignores the "never open with a ballad advice," proving you can't always let conventional wisdom twist your arm. It's a wonderful, tender exploration of the familiar tune, with the rhythm team shimmering, floating around Cafiso's deliberate and reverent treatment of the melody.

"Angelica," the other Ellington Songbook tune here, is done with a carefree panache, bubbling, Latin-style, behind the leader, who injects a bit a Cotton Club growl into his tone.

Cafiso wrote four of the songs in the set. The highlight of these is "Scent of Sicily," a wistful, abstract tune with a floating feeling. Cafiso's tone is sharp and tangy in front of a spare and subtlety-nuanced accompaniment. "December 26," another Cafiso-penned tune, showcases pianist Aaron Parks' light keyboard touch on a short but gorgeous solo leading into some splashing-of-bright-colors accompaniment to Cafiso's high-energy blowing of the serpentine melody.

Horace Silver's "Peace" explores tranquil beauty at a leisurely pace, featuring, again, Parks in another concisely laid-back solo spot. Sonny Rollins' "Why Don't I," with its shuffling tempo features Cafiso in a trio mode, backed by bassist Ben Street and Adam Cruz, sounding very free in a mid-sixties Rollins-esque way, blowing with a cool, blue-flame fire.

Cafiso closes the set out with the ruminative Nello Toscano tune, "Winter Sky." The saxophonist and the band bask in the tune's pensive mood, wrapping things up with three and a half minutes of unalloyed beauty.

Angelica is a fine introduction to a rising saxophone star.

Track Listing: A Flower is a Lovesome Thing; King Arthur; Angelica; December 26; Peace; Scent of Sicily; Waiting For; Why Don't I; Winter Sky.

Personnel: Francesco Cafiso: alto saxophone; Adam Cruz: drums; Aaron Parks: piano; Ben Street: bass.

Title: Angelica | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: CAM Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists" CD/LP/Track Review Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "If You Have a Dream" CD/LP/Track Review If You Have a Dream
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs" CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Invitation" CD/LP/Track Review Invitation
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "Red Nation "1"" CD/LP/Track Review Red Nation "1"
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!