You can hear it in his originals. John Coltrane. Johnny Hodges. Art Pepper. Jackie McLean. Cannonball Adderley.
Saxophonist Stefano Di Battista has studied the best. A native of Rome, the leader just turned thirty-two. While working in Paris, Di Battista has earned the kind of recognition that opens doors. This is his third album as leader, but the first to be released in the U.S.
Jacky Terrasson contributes two songs and bassist Rosario Bonaccorso contributes one. The rest are Di Battista's originals. Looking for variety, the leader sets different moods. Two of the selections waltz briskly, while three sweep slowly with the lyricism of a romantic ballad. Bonaccorso's "Song for Flavia" catwalk's confidently with a Cannonball Adderley touch. Gotta have a daily dose of those blues. Terrasson's "Chicago 1987" pours out a heftier portion. The ensemble captures every soulful nuance.
Di Battista's major label recognition is well deserved. His voice on alto is certainly one he can call his own. Bolstered by years of practice, the leader shows firm control of the essentials. His improvisations parallel those of Terrasson: dramatic, wide-ranging, and highly emotional. Veteran sidemen serve Di Battista well on this stellar session. All that's missing is the applause.
Elvin's Song; Johnny's Time; Nico's Dream; Your Romance; Little Red Ribbon; Adderley; Hall; Song for Flavia; Time for a Solo; Anastasia; Chicago 1987.
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