Guido Manusardi, a veteran pianist from Italy, has spent long periods living in Sweden and Romania. The latter period made a strong impression on him; even though he is now back in Italy, Manusardi's playing and his writing are strongly influenced by Romanian folk music. This sextet date with fellow Italians is comprised of ten of the pianist's originals, including two versions of "Three Basil Leaves." The music in general falls into the modern mainstream, just a few steps ahead of hard bop, but with a few twists. The frequent utilization of Gianluigi Trovesi on clarinet gives the ensembles the feel of a European folk band, sometimes also hinting at klezmer music. Trombonist Roberto Rossi is a major plus to the band, adding a strong dose of humor to the music. Manusardi plays well, but is more significant on this date as a writer than as a player, generously allocating solo space to his sidemen. Overall, this is an interesting and slightly unusual set that should interest listeners open to new sounds.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow