Mike Moreno: Another Way (2012)
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 and Chris Dingman. The combination of guitar, vibes, and piano (longtime associate Aaron Parks is a great outlet for Moreno's contemporary charts that find inspiration from Maurice Ravel to Wayne Shorter, 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 and Ted Poor'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 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