161

Roberto Magris Quintet: Mating Call

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Even though drummer Idris Muhammad may be the only member of the group to elicit nods of recognition here in the States, Italian pianist Roberto Magris' quintet is world-class in every respect, consistently affirming its singular prowess on Mating Call, the second release from Paul Collins' Kansas City-based J-Mood Records. Magris also headlined the label's initial recording, presiding over a quartet (including the late bassist Art Davis) on Kansas City Outbound in 2007.

Three of the album's seven engaging numbers ("Optional Man," "Hill of Illusions," "Europlane Blues") were written by Magris, who arranged the others as well. It's safe to say that J.J. Johnson's plaintive "Lament" has seldom sounded better, converted by Magris from ballad to medium-tempo swinger with a Latin substructure. The ballad "Theme for Ernie" was written by Fred Lacey, the exotic "Mating Call" by Tadd Dameron for a 1956 Prestige Records session with John Coltrane. As a pièce de résistance, Magris plays tasteful solo piano on the exquisite finale, Leonard Bernstein's "Lonely Town," from the Broadway musical On the Town.

"Theme for Ernie" showcases one of the group's two admirable horns, tenor saxophonist Michael O'Neill, and adds another eloquent solo by Magris. Paul Carr plays soprano sax on the lyrical opener, "Optional Man," and "Hill of Illusions," tenor the rest of the way, showing remarkable proficiency on either instrument, while bassist Elisa Pruett is a paragon of strength and stability. If musical excellence is more important to you than names, check out the Roberto Magris Quintet. Chances are you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Track Listing: Optional Man; Hill of Illusion; Lament; Theme For Ernie; Mating Call; Europlane Blues; Lonely Town.

Personnel: Roberto Magris: piano, electric piano; Paul Carr: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Michael O'Neill: tenor saxophone; Elisa Pruett: acoustic bass; Idris Muhammad: drums.

Title: Mating Call | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: J-Mood Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Wobbly Danse Flower CD/LP/Track Review Wobbly Danse Flower
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Carry Fire CD/LP/Track Review Carry Fire
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 22, 2017
Read A Night Walking Through Mirrors CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jondo CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Putting Off Death" CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian Microjam!" CD/LP/Track Review Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian Microjam!
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Polygon" CD/LP/Track Review Polygon
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "The Traveller's Tale" CD/LP/Track Review The Traveller's Tale
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "BACHanalia" CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Persuasion" CD/LP/Track Review Persuasion
by Jeff Winbush
Published: December 24, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.