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CD082:  Playing a nylon-strung acoustic guitar, Giorgio Serci combines the strong, pure sound of a trained classical guitarist with the harmonic and rhythmic instincts of a contemporary jazz musician. Born in Sardinia, but resident in London since 1994, Serci is perhaps best known for his work with guitarist Antonio Forcione's group for three years. On this CD, his debut as a leader, he also reveals a talent for composition which is illustrated here by the gently atmospheric 'Deja Vu', the flamenco-tinged 'Bembe', the urgency of 'Bela Sensazione', and the lush, relaxed beauty of the ballad 'Inverno'. As an arranger, his re-write of the French nursery rhyme 'Frere Jacques' neatly transforms it into a medium-tempo hard-swinging piece to which Virginia Mayhew contributes a driving tenor solo. Her soprano saxophone sound is also heard to good effect on 'Deja Vu' and 'Inverno'. Bassist Harvie Swartz is a formidable presence throughout the proceedings whether laying down the insistent ostinatos of Bela Sensazione or soloing on Serci's bossa 'Looking Further'. This is no smooth jazz album with tinkling acoustic guitar, but a well crafted work from a fine quartet that repays repeated listening. Serci's own playing is at the fore in this CD, his solo lines always purposeful, his harmonies often effectively dissonant. Charles Alexander, Jazzwise April 2005