Alto sax man Stefano di Battista may have grown up in Rome, but like many alto players, his heart is fixed on Charlie "Bird" Parker, a virtual bodhisattva of the instrument.

Alto sax man Stefano di Battista may have grown up in Rome, but like many alto players, his heart is fixed on Charlie "Bird" Parker, a virtual bodhisattva of the instrument. "Parker's Mood" is a tribute to Bird, and a beautifully performed one at that. Di Battista—in quintet here with the estimable Kenny Barron (piano), Herlin Riley (drums), Rosario Bonaccorso (bass) and guest Flavio Boltro (trumpet on four tunes)—takes on Bird originals and material he made memorable. The fare includes "Salt Peanuts," "Night in Tunisia," Thelonious Monk's " 'Round Midnight" and "Embraceable You." Di Battista is too hip to mimic Bird, but what he does with admirable grace is slip into the feel of the grooves that Bird laid down with these songs in his day. It's great to hear this material again, especially when a player of di Battista's agility and sensitivity steps up and offers his musical praise of the master. "Parker's Mood" is a genuine pleasure.—PVV

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