has long been one of the top tenor saxophonists of his generation, though too many critics have typically overlooked his work in favor of major-label stylists on his instrument. Joined by a fine rhythm section, including pianist Renato Chicco
, bassist Dave Santoro
, and drummer Andrea Michelutti
(all of whom are worthy of wider recognition as well), Bergonzi
also takes advantage of his first date for Savant to feature his considerable skills as a composer. His robust approach to tenor is immediately apparent in his catchy "Acookarache," a powerful post-bop vehicle with a Latin undercurrent. "Bob Berg" is a driving midtempo tribute to its namesake, a fine tenor saxophonist who died in a tragic holiday traffic accident a few years prior to this session. Also enjoyable is "Stumbelina," a quirky, playful theme that the musicians interpret flawlessly. The leader's rapid-fire "Skull Shining" is a wild roller coaster anthem that seems like a natural piece to expand for a larger ensemble. The one standard of the date is a snappy treatment of "You're My Everything." This rewarding effort is well worth acquiring.