Phil Woods meets some of Italy's promising up-and-coming players on this studio session, one of seven recorded in only five days during May 2000 for Philology. Producer Paolo Piangiarelli suggested the music of Tadd Dameron for the session, which provides a spark that sets the group on fire from the start. The songs are primarily Dameron's best-known works, including the sensational ballad "If You Could See Me Now" and the timeless bop anthem "Hot House," as well as the somewhat lesser-known Dameron ballad "You Are a Joy." Old friend Franco D'Andrea, who has worked on several Philology projects with Woods, provides his usual strong support on piano, along with bassist Massimo Moriconi and drummer Lorenzo Tucci. Trumpeter Fabrizo Bosso is also up to the task of working with Woods and makes the most of the opportunity. Alto saxophonist Rosario Giuliani (who also served as the musical director for the project) is not overwhelmed by Woods' long-since-proven chops on his instrument and shows lots of spirit in his fine playing, which clearly made an impression on the veteran; he also wrote the lively original blues "The Dreams That Comes True" with Woods in mind, which provides a memorable set-closer. This exciting bop session is highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden