Francesco Cafiso – Seven Steps To Heaven (2006)

Francesco Cafiso - Seven Steps To Heaven (2006)
Artist: Francesco Cafiso
Album: Seven Steps To Heaven
Genre: Neo-Bop, Mainstream Jazz
Origin: Italy
Released: 2006
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Seven Steps To Heaven (6:49)
Green Chimneys (7:16)
Yesterdays (7:07)
On The Trail (9:44)
My Funny Valentine (8:08)
Milestones (6:52)
Crazeology (5:34)
Skylark (6:01)


Francesco Cafiso surprised the jazz world with his blazing chops in his early teens during a stunning duo concert with veteran pianist Franco D’Andrea. Several years afterward, he is working on developing a distinctive style of his own, which is a challenge for any young musician. These 2006 sessions mix well-known jazz compositions of the 1940s and 1950s with timeless standards, with the alto saxophonist backed by a solid rhythm section consisting of pianist Andrea Pozza, bassist Aldo Zunino, and drummer Nicola Angelucci. He shows off a bit in a wild treatment of Thelonious Monk’s “Green Chimneys” that starts in a funky manner, shifts to an aggressive hard bop mood, and also has an unaccompanied solo section. Cafiso’s spry take of “Yesterdays” proves convincing, while the exotic rhythm setting of “My Funny Valentine” takes this chestnut into somewhat new territory. There are times where Cafiso reveals his youth by forcing in odd quotes that prove to be more of a distraction than help to his improvisations. But this CD indicates that Francesco Cafiso is serious about a career in jazz and not merely a young flash in the pan who will flame out after a brief foray into the limelight.
Review by Ken Dryden