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Live Reviews

John Geggie / Ron Miles / David Occhipinti: Ottawa, Canada, January 14, 2012

By Published: February 1, 2012
In a set that combined two originals each from Geggie, Occhipinti and Miles, three standards and a pop ballad chestnut from The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles

, the focus was on interaction and interpretation. Occhipinti's arrangement of "Good Morning Heartache"—first made famous by singer Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
1915 - 1959
on her classic Lady Sings the Blues (Verve, 1956)—included a more modernistic bridging section but, when it came to the familiar melody, the trio's reverence for the original was clear, even as Miles' lines were ever-so-slightly skewed, Occhinti's chordal work of the language but somehow extended, and Geggie's support rock-solid yet responsive.

It was a relaxed setting where all three had plenty to say but nothing to prove; more about the collective sound than any individual contributions, though everyone had plenty of opportunity to shine: Miles, as ever, with his burnished tone and curious yet singable lines; and Occhipinti the definition of restraint, so that when he did occasionally cut loose, it was all the more impressive.

The past few years have been particularly significant for Geggie, beyond (or, more likely, because of) his Geggie Concert Series. With the near-concurrent release of his overdue first recordings as a leader—Geggie Project (Ambiances Magnetique, 2010) and Across the Sky (Plunge, 2010), the bassist has made some significant leaps, soloing with greater dexterity and confidence than ever before, and an arco tone that's part and parcel of his work in the classical field.

Delivering two sets that were so eminently engaging that they seemed to pass by in a moment, the temperature may have been particularly cold outside on this early January evening in the extreme weather capital of the world, but inside the Fourth Stage there was plenty of comforting warmth that didn't make any sacrifices when it came to adventurous experimentation.

Photo Credit
John R. Fowler

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