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Check-In by Roberto Magris Europlane

Italian pianist Roberto Magris swings hard on Check-In. His pulsating style is evident throughout. With a solid group of musicians including saxophonist, Tony Lakatos, Magris dances all over the keys with focus and determination. Recorded for the respected Black Saint label, Check-In features a mixture of originals and standards.

Long a standard in the jazz community, "I Remember You" gets off to a blistering start with Lakatos and Erian trading chorus after chorus of fiery sax. The group eventually settles into the groove with the melody taking center stage. Magris is not one to waste notes, playing with passion and control. Don Pullen's influence can be heard at times.

"African Mood" is an uplifting piece featuring Lakatos and Erian. These two work great together. Never outdoing the other, Lakatos and Erian massage the melody to great effect. There are inspired solos from both of them.

Harking back to the glory days of bebop, "What Blues?" swings like there is no tomorrow. Smoking tenor from Lakatos adds fuel to this modal beauty. Magris's piano is on fire. He's having a great time with the melody. An inspired conversation develops between Magris and Erian. In the spirit of Wynton Kelly and Red Garland, Magris holds true to a style of playing long admired by many.

Gino Paoli wrote the beautiful "Che Cosa C'E'." The spotlight is on Magris. Tasty fingering abounds. There are moments that bring the legendary Spanish pianist, Tete Monteliu to mind. Magris is fluid throughout with interesting and pleasing changes.

Great respect is shown for the beautiful ballad, "Why Did I Choose You." A fine example of why Lakatos is considered one of the classiest tenors on the scene. A smooth delivery and careful phrasing demonstrate the talents of this fine musician. Magris' charming piano is featured throughout. With a keen ear to the melody, Magris's rich tone adds much needed body and depth.

Magris must be considered a talent deserving wider recognition. Check-In contains many highlights. A tight swinging band, well-chosen material, and carefully crafted arrangements make this release a welcome addition for any serious collector.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Roberto Magris Europlane
  • CD Title: Check-In
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Black Saint
  • Tracks: I Remember You, Blues For My Sleeping Baby, African Mood, Luci Lontane, What Blues?, Why Did I Choose You, I Concentrate On You, Che Cosa CE''
  • Musicians: Tony Lakatos (soprano & tenor sax), Michael Erian (soprano & tenor sax), Roberto Magris (piano), Robert Balzar (bass), Gabriele Centis (drums), Fulvio Zafret (congas)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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