A teacher at Denver University, Sabatella has put together this tight-knit quartet playing gigs at El Chapultapec and other clubs around town Rounding out the groups are the assured work of Geoff Cook, bass and Thomas Van Shoick, drums.
Sabatella’s influences range from Herbie Hancock to John Coltrane. Thelonious Monk’s mark is obvious, too. "Monk’s Got Rhythm," is a re-working of the classic "Well You Needn't." It begins with Oxman’s strong bit on tenor (whose solos are stellar throughout), while Sabatella assertively works in the background, coming in for his own strong solo contribution. In "Spherical Minute," he alludes to Monk’s "Straight No Chaser," particularly pleasing with own quirky monkishness on piano.
Coltrane’s stamp is heard as on the opener, "Ferengi" with its use of descending notes a la "Giant Steps. "Here Oxman takes a powerful take in a Coltranish vein. On the 11-minute closer, "Something Else," the whole group goes all-out.
This is Sabatella’s second CD after a long wait. It shows much promise, emphasizing the point that there is a lot of great jazz out there across the country that needs hearing.