On three solid albums for Blue Note Records, pianist Calderazzo showed himself to be an evolving, modern-minded leader. Working mainly with a trio, Calderazzo occasionally expanded his ensemble to add a horn player or two.
Here on the 30-year-old’s debut for the budding San Clemente-based AudioQuest label, Calderazzo’s trio (James Genus, bass, and Clarence Penn, drums) remains his focus. However, on six of the album’s eight tracks, that unit is augmented by winds and strings arranged and orchestrated by Bob Belden. The result is an album in which the swinging essence of the music is never diluted, despite the presence of orchestral backgrounds not usually associated with jazz.
The swaying “Echoes,” sparked by Charles Pillow’s bass clarinet and Tim Ries’ soprano sax, brings to mind John Coltrane’s “Africa,” and Calderazzo’s powerful solo shows he still reflects the edge and zeal of McCoy Tyner. The slow and moody “Scriabin” demonstrates the pianist’s deft ability to mix sounds with silences. “Fille de Kilimanjaro” seems to float along, buoyed by English horn, guitar and cello accompaniment as well as by Calderazzo’s vibrant, melodic solo.
Calderazzo showcases his trio on two intense tracks--"ATM” and “No One Knows I’m Here"--piling phrase upon phrase to reach teeming climaxes. On this album we again hear a fine musician who is continuing to develop a more personal sound.
Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four stars (excellent).