Franco Ambrosetti


Cycladic Moods Enja***

This Swiss trumpeter blooded his latest sextet with a 12-date live tour before going into the studio to record Cycladic Moods. So the star-studded group (including pianist Geri Allen, saxophonist Abraham Burton and drummer Nasheet Waits) was nicely warmed up – and it shows in the generous, collaborative atmosphere of the music.

Ambrosetti has been a European standard bearer for a very American brand of hard- bop, straight out of Art Blakey, and his own playing bears more than a passing resemblance to Freddie Hubbard. But his close association with forward- thinking Czech bassist Miroslav Vitous (who does not appear here but contributes the excellent Mirobop) seems to have expanded the trumpet player’s horizons in recent years, and the open texture to the music here takes hard-bop in a more European direction. Fine performances are turned in by all, particularly Allen and Waits, as one would expect from masters of this hard- swinging art.