Alfonso Deidda ‘Lucky Man’ (Via Veneto) 3/5

alfonso-deiddaHaving collaborated with many jazz musicians including, among others, Mike Stern, Billy Cobham, Peter Erskine, Mulgrew Miller and Michel Petrucciani, it shouldn’t be a surprise that saxophonist/composer Alfonso Deidda has successfully utilised his skills well on this debut release as a leader. Together with his excellent band; pianist Julian O. Mazzeriello, drummer Alessandro Paternesi, bassist Dario Deidda and trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso, they have produced a solid jazz album that takes the listener on a journey from Latin to Funk to Free Jazz. All 10 originals are well conceived and have a contemporary, energetic and intelligent tone to them. There is plenty of variation on the album, resulting in a pleasing mix of melodic musings, cool grooves, engaging textures and emotional yet well-balanced tension. The band all get chance to shine, but it is Deidda that stands out, whether he’s playing tenor, soprano or baritone, the shapes and pictures he creates are melodic and focussed, bringing excitement and vibrancy to the party on much of the recording. Acclaimed trumpet player Fabrizio Bosso combines well with the sax of Deidda, keeping the harmonies lean and mean. Bosso also turns in some brilliant solos, revelling in the opportunity to blow hard and free. Stand-out tracks for this listener include the stylish, free improv heard on “Poisoned Apple”, the wonderful presence of the leader’s baritone on “Center of Mood”, the sharp funky groove of the opener “Actual Size” and the subtle, lyrically beguiling title track “Lucky Man”. Without being over ambitious, this is an honest album, with some very good performances from all musicians involved. A good solid debut that suggests there could be much more to come from Mr Deidda.

Mike Gates