All of the arrangements are by Baratta, save one, and that is the opening Hutcherson number "Herzog," which is arranged by Allen Farnham. It comes out of the gate swinging, with Bergonzi confirming he is a riveting player. The asymmetrical exchanges between Baratta, Bergonzi and Kikoski bring vibrancy and new dimensions. The musical storytelling continues on the following two tracks, beginning with Joe Farrell's "Molten Glass" and then Alex Wilder's "Blackberry Winter." On the former, the sly bossa nova theme is stated and then explored to perfection by pianist Kikoski, leading into Patitucci's bass solo filled with clean articulation. The latter is a gorgeous ballad in which Bergonzi and Kikoski cover the composition in a way that feels as if each note is meticulously chosen to create a resonating connection with the listener.
Throughout the album, there is an ebb and flow of the tracks that blends jazz motifs with unexpected twists.. The McCoy Tyner composition "Peresina" is a Latin showcase for Kikoski enhanced by the congas of Paul Rossman. The pianist has an adventurous spirit, constantly shifting through colours and shapes. Continuing on this journey, Baratta, Kikoski and Patitucci come together on Wayne Shorter's "Lost." Delivered in a waltz tempo, Kikoski's piano addresses the number in a haunting and ethereal manner.
The contemporary creativity that is embedded in each composition signs off with the Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer composition "Out Of This World." Bergonzi is underpinned with a buoyant Latin-Afro tempo, bringing a sparkling intensity to his tenor musings and thickening the music atmosphere. This is a resounding conclusion to an inventive musical celebration.
Herzog; Molten Glass; Blackberry Winter; Peresina; Afro-Centric; Lost; Sombrero Sam; Tones for Joan’s Bones; Out of This World.
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