Even by jazz standards (no pun intended), piano man Roberto Magris' creativity knows almost no bounds judging from his prolific output to date. Scarcely had I digested the last two, the consummately excellent "Alien on a BeBop Planet" , and "One Night in With Hope and More, Vol.1", when Magris and his varied, ever-changing list of collaborators has sprung forth not two, but three new discs. The discs continue thematically in veins similar to that which he has previously mined; there is, instead of the Lee Morgan Tribute (which has so far taken up two full-lengths) a Cannonball Adderly tribute disc, and instead of Kansas City (though that storied jazz locale still features indirectly) there's a Philly exploration, aided by the Philly alto master (and Odean Pope Saxophone Choir alum) Sam Reed.
Of the trio, my favourite is in fact the Reed disc, titled "Ready for Reed". For fans of straight-up post-bop with appropriate and finely balanced twists, this is an essential addition to your collection. Reed is in great form, and the simpatico between himself, the leader and the band as a whole shines through - almost to the point where it seems, only seems, mind you, that there is no leader. But of course, this is a Magris disc.
There's also - wait for it! - a follow-up
to the One Night in with Hope project. Through out all these musical explorations, Magris not only keeps it fresh with the compositions and expositions, but manages, as always, to get maximum commitment and verve out of his musical cohorts. It begins in bouncy style with Herbie Nichols' "Third World" and runs through selections from Mal Waldron, Elmo Hope, of course, and -as to be expected - a couple of originals from Magris himself.
Music aficionados can continue in gratitude to the Italian-born instrumentalist as he mines the great troves of bop and post-bop tradition and takes them out for some fresh spins. Hail Magris!