Amid all the hoopla emanating from the current ensemble of young jazz lions, saxophonist Rick Margitza was himself cited as a young stylist on the move during his late 1980’s emergence on the jazz scene. And now with Margitza’s seventh recording, the saxophonist upholds or maintains his prominent stature in jazz on Heart of Hearts
Margitza possesses a slender, glowing tone whether performing on tenor or soprano sax. With pieces such as “14 Bar Blues” and “You Must Believe in Spring”, the saxophonist pursues fluid lines along with a lighter-than-air style of execution. Noted pianist Joey Calderazzo is a near perfect match for Margitza as they surf, glide and swing on the late Don Grolnick’s somewhat jubilant composition titled, “The Four Sleepers”. Throughout, Calderazzo’s airy and richly melodic voicings, shrewd implementation of harmonics and graceful chord progressions only heightens Margitza’s quietly frenetic phrasing, masterful execution of themes and often clever reworking of melody lines. –
Kudos are also in order for drummer, Ian Froman and ace session bassist Scott Colley as they push, prod and swing while remaining within the framework or thematic intentions of these compositions. Overall, Hearts of Hearts illustrates the essence of Margitza’s artfulness while Matt Balitsaris should be commended for the wonderful recording as the pristine sound quality and well-balanced mix only amplifies Margitza’s beaming, smooth-as-silk tone and estimable talents as a modern day stylist! Highly recommended.
* * * * ½ (out of * * * * *)