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Mike Moreno: Another Way (2012)

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Mike Moreno: Another Way How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Though it's difficult to stand out in a climate where new names appear almost daily, Mike Moreno has proven to be one of the more identifiable young jazz guitarists in recent years. At home in a number of settings, his fluid style has been found in the abstract hip hop styling of Q-Tip's The Renaissance (Universal Motown, 2008) and has received accolades from Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
b.1954
guitar
who commented that Moreno's is "A really talented guy who impressed me beyond the notes, for his general feeling, and what he's going for." And it's not just Moreno's playing that impresses—his compositional prowess also garners attention on Another Way , his fourth recording as a leader.

Similar to his 2007 debut Between The Lines (World Culture Music), Another Way features Moreno compositions performed by a robust ensemble that includes rising vibe players Warren Wolf
Warren Wolf
Warren Wolf
b.1979
vibraphone
and Chris Dingman
Chris Dingman
Chris Dingman
b.1980
vibraphone
. The combination of guitar, vibes, and piano (longtime associate Aaron Parks
Aaron Parks
Aaron Parks
b.1983
piano
is a great outlet for Moreno's contemporary charts that find inspiration from Maurice Ravel to Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
, while speaking the guitarist's own dialect.

"Spinning Wheel" is a good example of Moreno's forward-thinking melodicism. The sound is layered, elevated by the chordal instruments' communication and spacious solos. Known for his labyrinthine runs on electric guitar, Moreno's acoustic technique is equally impressive and surfaces in two duo pieces with Parks "Waking the Dance" and "The Mariner" further emphasizing their simpatico lyricism.

The set isn't one-dimensional. The darkly tinted vibe of "The Fifth Element" is built around a persistent groove that's glued by Matt Brewer
Matt Brewer
Matt Brewer
b.1983
bass
and Ted Poor
Ted Poor
Ted Poor

drums
's rhythmic flexibility; only to be followed by "Show Fall," a gorgeous meandering piece with nuanced shades. The addition of vibraphones is another determining factor on two of the set's hottest pieces—"One And A Half" and "Behind The Wall"—both spotting the inventive mallet of newcomer Warren Wolf
Warren Wolf
Warren Wolf
b.1979
vibraphone
and Moreno's blistering guitar.

Another Way continues Moreno's pattern of excellence and individuality while being open to new possibilities.

Track Listing: The Spinning Wheel; Waking the Dance; One And A Half; Show Fall; Another Way; Behind The Wall; The Mariner; Mirror Mirror.

Personnel: Mike Moreno: guitars; Aaron Parks: piano; Warren Wolf: vibraphone (1-3, 5-9); Matt Brewer: bass; Ted Poor: drums (2-9); Chris Dingman: vibraphone (4); Jochen Reuckert: drums (1).

Record Label: World Culture Music

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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