Splasc(h) Records has documented the vibrantly diverse Italian jazz scene with hundreds of releases. This recording features four of its key performers, who co-lead a tight, well-played set of original pieces very much in the mainstream tradition. (The only tune not written by a member of the group is Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing," after whom the quartet is named.) Luigi Tessarolla's guitar takes the place of a horn, his light, graceful, lissome lines floating above the backdrop of fine rhythmical support provided by co-leaders Riccardo Fassi, Paolino Dalla Porta, and Adam Nussbaum. While the performances are professional and more than competent, few of the melodies are memorable, and there is little here to distinguish this recording from hosts of others. The players are most comfortable at medium and slow tempos. The piano and guitar effectively double on some of the melodic lines; otherwise, they alternate the lead. Much of it is very pretty, and the influence of Bill Evans is partially evident. Paolo Dalla Porta's acoustic string bass is filled with rich sonorities, and journeyman Adam Nussbaum provides the accurate and sensitive timekeeping skills for which he is known.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy