If this CD were released in the 1950s or 1960s, it would likely have propelled Italian trumpeter Morgera to stardom. Even now, it has a fresh and exciting feel to it, as the trumpeter leads his septet through a mix of originals and popular standards. Morgera has impeccable technique and a solid mastery of the hard bop idiom. He prefers the middle range of his horn, and whether he blows hot or with sensuous emotion, he impresses as one of the leading practitioners of his genre. For this outing, Morgera surrounds himself with some fine New York musicians, including JD Allen on tenor saxophone, Bill Ware on Vibes, and Alvester Garnett on drums. The latter is particularly attractive, as he kicks with unmitigating force. Trombonist Jason Jackson shows promise, but Peter Griesenger is a tad disappointing on guitar.
by Steve Loewy