Massimo Urbani

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This early effort shows the great promise of this Italian Lion, who burst forth on the jazz scene with incredible technique and a seemingly endless flow of ideas. Urbani was later to record mostly with his countrymen; here, he is backed by an all-star American rhythm trio of pianist Ron Burton, bassist Cameron Brown, and drummer Beaver Harris. Urbani mesmerizes on "Cherokee," which is taken at a blazing pace. The pace then slackens, and the saxophonist tries his hand at a couple of ballads ("Tender Song" and "Ballad for a Child"), that lack some of the later warmth that he was to later develop. Even here, though, Urbani displays the qualities that mark his distinct style: a towering command of the bop vocabulary; a seemingly ease of delivery; the use of split tones; a tendency toward excess; and a frightening technique.

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