373

Francesco Cafiso Quartet: Angelica

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Francesco Cafiso Quartet: Angelica 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.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: CAM Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Like, Strange CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Coalesce CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Il sistema periodico CD/LP/Track Review Il sistema periodico
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Code Noir CD/LP/Track Review Code Noir
by James Nadal
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Beginning of A Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Beginning of A Memory
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 19, 2016
Read "Invention of Knowledge" CD/LP/Track Review Invention of Knowledge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "Visual Music" CD/LP/Track Review Visual Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 27, 2016
Read "Miniatures" CD/LP/Track Review Miniatures
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "Earprint" CD/LP/Track Review Earprint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "Wee +3" CD/LP/Track Review Wee +3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 7, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!