Francesco Cafiso is a marvel. An impressive bop-oriented altoist by the time he was 11, he toured Europe with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra when he was 13. Cafiso was 16 at the time of this 2005 recording, sounding tone-wise like Phil Woods, playing with great maturity and swinging hard. Rather than re-creating the past or working on standards, Cafiso contributed all eight selections to this quartet date. Some of the tunes are partly based on earlier songs (including a blues), but the music overall is pretty original while in the straight-ahead tradition. Cafiso, who is joined by a top-notch Italian rhythm section, is an obvious jazz giant of the future. Happy Time allows one to hear him near the beginning.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow