Tenor Michael Campagna’s Moments has nine colorful originals with top musicians including harpist Brandee Younger.
Michael Campagna is a very skilled tenor-saxophonist and composer. He graduated from the University of Miami and has worked as an educator at his alma mater, the New School and also in Italy. Among his more notable musical associations in his career thus far are Charlie Haden, Maria Schneider, Randy Brecker, Junior Mance and Jon Faddis. In recent times he has toured with singer Jose James.
Moments is Michael Campagna’s second recording as a leader and it is very impressive. Campagna’s tenor playing at various times recalls John Coltrane, Hank Mobley and Michael Brecker but generally sounds original. He picked a top notch group for the recordings, interacting closely with trumpeter Michael Rodriguez, pianist Robert Rodriguez, bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer Eric Doob. A special bonus is the harp playing of Brandee Younger on four numbers which adds a unique sound to the group.
“Dear John” (which has Campagna and Younger sounding like the Coltranes speaking to each other) is one of the highpoints. Other numbers range from the spiritual and romantic to some hotter music. Throughout Moments, Michael Campagna keeps listeners guessing for the arrangements and frameworks are not predictable even if they are ultimately logical.
Moments is a set of performances that do not need close analysis to enjoy. Michael Campagna, a saxophonist who deserves to be well known, has put together a program that is highly recommended for modern jazz fans.