Paolo Recchia's sophomore outing as a leader has him exploring the piano less trio. In the hands of an amateur this is all most the equivalent of sending yourself to the musical electric chair. While in Recchia's hands you find the horn players with the sonic freedom to set up shop as they like behind the solid backing of a rhythm section made up of Nicola Muresu and Nicola Angelucci.
Recchia's variety is the key to the success of this virtuoso performance be it "Tenor Madness" from Sonny Rollins or "Lazy Bird" from John Coltrane, Recchia even tosses in four well placed originals that were it not for a working knowledge of the literature presented it would be difficult to tell where one standard stopped and another started. Far more than your typical "blowing session" the ballads "November" as well as "Who Can I Turn To" are expressive tunes that are emotionally charged gems well placed between some of the more intense material Recchia seems to burn through with relative ease.
While covers from Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane can be the musical equivalent of tap dancing in a sonic mine field, Paolo Recchia's most impressive performances may well come from his originals "Ari's Desire" and "Boulevard Victor" which are both lyrically punctuated gems allowing for an intriguing harmonic development without pushing past the limits of notable accessibility. There is a delightful all most old school Blue Note feel to this release, a retro feel simply brought 30 years back to the future. Alex Sipiagin joins Recchia on trumpet and flugelhorn on a few tracks making up for the lack of depth with the piano less format yet accentuating a tremendous organic feel and development to one of the better releases of the year.
Paolo Recchia's sophomore release marks the development of one of what will undoubtedly be one of the more important voices for the future of jazz.
An easy 5 Stars.
Tracks: Ari's Desire; Tenor Madness; Peace Hotel; Lazy Bird; Who Can I Turn To; Boulevard Victor; Everything I've Got; November; Pent-Up House.
Personnel: Paolo Recchia: alto and tenor saxophone; Nicola Muresu: drums; Nicola Angeluci: double bass; Alex Sipiagin: trumpet & flugelhorn.