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CD Review: Roberto Magris Sextet - Live in Miami @The WDNA Jazz Gallery

Brian Lynch – Trumpet

Jonathan Gomez – Tenor saxophone

Roberto Magris – Piano

Chuck Bergeron – Bass

John Yarling – Drums

Murphy Aucamp – Percussion

Italian pianist Roberto Magris leads an ensemble of Miami based musicians on this engaging and vibrant live set from February of 2016. The repertoire consists of seven bop-based originals and two covers all of which are interpreted with charisma and passion.

Magris opens the first track, the Latin tinged “African Mood”, with an effervescent and infectious melody. Out of this ebullient melee emerges trumpeter Brian Lynch’s fiery horn with its burnished tones and bright hues. Equally expressive, saxophonist Jonathan Gomez lets his muscular, reverberating lines undulate and glide over propulsive collective vamps. Magris demonstrates his breathtaking acrobatics with delightfully complex and agile spontaneous tune before the band returns to the head.

Gomez and Lynch’s superb synergy on the frontline is heard throughout and is most apparent on such tracks as “Il Bello Del Jazz”. Lynch embellishes the main theme with a lithe sophistication soaring above the group refrains with a facility and grace. Gomez takes center stage next with dense and serpentine phrases that mirror Lynch’s performance and complements it exquisitely. Magris peppers his angular improvisation with bluesy bits and sets the stage for bassist Chuck Bergeron. Bergeron, backed only by drummer John Yarling’s brushes, plays with eloquence and virtuosity

Yarling’s thundering kit opens the captivating Miles Davis tribute “What Blues?” and restlessly drives it. Gomez blows with brassy gusto and Lynch lets loose a spirited flood of notes. Magris thrills with his energetic performance as he coaxes out of his piano an up-tempo soulful and intricate extemporization. All of the members of the sextet get their chance in the spotlight and dynamic percussionist Murphy Aucamp is no exception. On the exuberant “Chachanada” Aucamp solos with primal energy without sacrificing his suave musicianship. His congas match the leader’s percussive chords.

This alluring and enjoyable album captures Magris and his colleagues in peak form. It also demonstrates Magris’ superlative skills as a composer and bandleader. Live in Miami @The WDNA Jazz Gallery is both memorable and accessible and will prove to have a wide appeal.

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