What's in a title? In this case, a whole lot of helpful clues about the music on this disc. Francesco Cafiso was sixteen at the time he committed this music to posterity, and to say that he has everything a musician working in the modern mainstream context needs is not hyperbole.
A pedant might argue that the alto player is doing nothing new, and that's certainly the case. But this does not alter the fact that even in times when one-time prodigies like Joshua Redman are carving out their territory within the music's broadest continuum, Cafiso has essentially gone one step further at the outset by providing a whole programme of original compositions.
His efforts are aided in no small part by a remarkably empathetic trio, and on the likes of "She Loves Me, he manages to come up with some ballad playing of his own that shows little in the way of overt stylistic influences; in an area as overcrowded as this, that's no mean feat. By contrast, he has fire too, as evidenced on the alto sax-drums duet "Louisiana, which opens the disc.
If the ability to play the blues can still be realistically considered a prerequisite for any musician in this field, then Cafiso hits the mark on "Blues For Angel, despite the fact that his work perhaps unsurprisingly doesn't have the depth of pathos that, say, Sonny Criss would have brought.
Overall, Cafiso's innate musicality overrides any reservations about the fact that he's mining an already overworked musical seam. This is music that can put a smile on your face on a springtime Saturday afternoonand in a world as troubled as this, that's a small but gratefully received mercy. If Cafiso chooses to make some innovations when he's reached the age of twenty or whenever, that's equally fine by me.
Louisiana (Dedicated To James Williams); She Loves Me; Happy Time;
Anabel; Blues For Angel; Sir Charles; Goodbye Elvin; The Bear.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.