Guido Manusardi, a veteran pianist from Italy, has spent long periods living in Sweden and Romania. The latter period made a strong impression on him; even though he is now back in Italy, Manusardi's playing and his writing are strongly influenced by Romanian folk music. This sextet date with fellow Italians is comprised of ten of the pianist's originals, including two versions of "Three Basil Leaves." The music in general falls into the modern mainstream, just a few steps ahead of hard bop, but with a few twists. The frequent utilization of Gianluigi Trovesi on clarinet gives the ensembles the feel of a European folk band, sometimes also hinting at klezmer music. Trombonist Roberto Rossi is a major plus to the band, adding a strong dose of humor to the music. Manusardi plays well, but is more significant on this date as a writer than as a player, generously allocating solo space to his sidemen. Overall, this is an interesting and slightly unusual set that should interest listeners open to new sounds. ~ Scott Yanow Recorded at Bips Studio, Milan, Italy from October 10-12, 1996. Includes liner notes by Jan Olsson & Professor Lucian Savin. Composer: Guido Manusardi. Personnel: Guido Manusardi (piano); Gianluigi Trovesi (clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone, alto saxophone); Paolo Fresu (trumpet, flugelhorn); Roberto Rossi (trombone); Roberto Gatto (drums). Audio Mixer: Marty J. Robertson. Recording information: Bips Studio, Milan, Italy (10/10/1996-10/12/1996). Arranger: Guido Manusardi. Personnel: Guido Manusardi (piano); Gianluigi Trovesi (alto saxophone, B-flat, E-flat & bass clarinets); Paolo Fresu (trumpet, flugelhorn); Roberto Rossi (trombone); Furio Di Castri (bass); Roberto Gatto (drums).