Roberto Magris Europlane: Blues for My Sleeping Baby
Blues for My Sleeping Baby
Roberto Magris Europlane
Check-in (Soul Note 121325-2)
Roberto Magris (piano),
Tony Lakatos, Michael Erian (tenor saxes), Robert Balzar (bass), Gabrielle Centis (drums).
Composed by Roberto Magris.
Recorded: Trieste, Italy, September 2, 2003
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
I must admit I am a sucker for the blues. Whether performed by enthusiastic novices or consummate professionals, this form in all its simplicity can be irresistibly entertaining, provided it's played with passion. On Roberto Magris's touching "Blues for My Sleeping Baby" – sounding very much like the Blue Note dual-horn groups of that label's heyday – his Eastern European-based group Europlane plays it just right in my book. The tune runs over 12 minutes, yet despite its length never falters. The sensual and at times searing Lakatos on tenor has an inventiveness that is a joy to behold. Erian is no slouch either. Playing together, they inspire each other's explorations of this tried-and-true form. Czech bassist Balzar follows in the footsteps of his compatriot bassists Vitous and Mraz with a lyrical improvisational approach that dances gingerly around the melody while never losing the beat. As for Magris, he seems to be of that rare breed of pianist/leader willing to forgo showcasing their own prodigious talents in favor of the total musical package. His solo work runs the gamut from arpeggio-laden flurries of notes played ostinato to chordal splashes of sound that run up and down the ivories. But he is foremost a master accompanist, and the music is at once cohesive and balanced due in no small part to his skillful leadership. The freshness and creativity of these musicians make this a must have for those who like this genre.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello