Italian-American pianist and composer Patrizia Scasciatelli has been active on the jazz scene since the mid-'70s, but this seems to be her first recording released by a U.S. based (rather than a European) label. Joining her in the front line are trumpeter and flugelhornist Jim Seeley, multi-reed player Mark Gross, and tenor saxophonist Ada Rovatti, though each of them is only on selected tracks. Her collection of 11 original works samples just a few of the hundreds she has written. The unusual bossa nova is rather harmonically advanced, making strong demands of Seeley's chops on flugelhorn. "Lament for Harold" is a brisk, twisting tango featuring Gross' powerful alto sax. "Year of the Tiger" is a snappy post-bop vehicle that brings together all three horns. "Samantha's Blues" is a sassy, street-smart blues anchored by Bob Bowman's strutting bassline and Carlos Cervantes' percussion. "Scott Joplin's Caribbean Dance" is obviously inspired by "Maple Leaf Rag" though it quickly transforms into a lively calypso as the band joins the pianist, with some fine solos by both the leader and Rovatti. Seeley's muted trumpet and Gross' New Orleans-flavored clarinet are explosive in the bluesy "Artie's Place." Don't be surprised if this CD is your first exposure to this veteran pianist, but after one hearing, Patrizia Scasciatelli will definitely leave a lasting impression.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden