|A melodic introduction by Roberto Magris, solo piano, a beautiful sound to open the door to the ever so smooth saxophone playing of Herb Geller. The first track of the CD, No Sadness a Magris composition, is certainly cause for celebration. Magris then Geller and finally Darko Jurkovic perform flawless, joyous solos that are simply magnificent.
The next tune is a Geller composition and it swings big time, Stray Form finds Geller in fine form laying down some excellent licks. Geller has a style that is very fluid, with a tone that sounds warm and wonderful. He uses long extended phrases to create statements that are full of emotion.
Magris is a fine pianist, with a style that reminds me of a few different masters; Evans, Powell, Clark and Lewis all come through at times. He plays great melodies and maintains them on his left hand while rhythmically soloing with his right hand. When the need arises he will play some grand sounding chords and then delicately work in a fluid stream of notes. He is a great accompanist to Geller, opening the door perfectly to allow the sax to work its magic.
The CD is primarily made up of straight ahead classic jazz tunes. A blues based tune, A New Town Is A Blue Town, is an added delight. Another outstanding tune, this time with a Bosa Nova feel is, Key Largo.
The rhythm section is a tight unit, drummer Gabrielle Centis (possibly a Connie Kay disciple) has played with Magris for quite some time, the liner notes make mention of the two having been friends since their formative years. The familiarity lends itself nicely to the music, as the drummer and pianist work off each other and provide excellent accompaniment to Geller as he performs his melodic free wheeling licks. This is especially evident in the swinging Parkers Pen co-composed by Magris.
The CD title track Il Bello Del Jazz another composition by Magris, is just that, beautiful jazz. Great guitar playing that leads into great sax playing, while the rhythm section swings and cooks. The joy of the music is captured on the recording. Bass player Rudi Engel has a chance to shine in this song; he is solid and lays down some great lines that keeps the joy flowing.
The final track of the CD is Deception a Geller composition. Magris plays beautifully in this piece, classical sounding jazz runs with right and left hand simultaneously tearing at the keys. Geller plays it cool sounding, stringing melodic lines together and evoking images of rolling waves and west coast beauty. This recording has everything, great players, excellent sound quality, and a great mix and it is a truly gifted production. A highly recommended CD, Il Bello Del Jazz is a pleasure to behold.
report by Paul J. Youngman KJA Jazz Advocate Oct. '06