International Jazz Competition, might ruffle the feathers of jazz traditionalists with overdubbing and use of steel string acoustic (in open tunings no less), but the result of this forward thinking style is a recording that brims with energy and creativity.
"Burned," a funky, danceable track, starts things off. Mazza and saxophonist Will Vinson
adds strong support on upright bass. "Close to My Heart," a mellow, lyrical ballad, showcases the guitarist's pensive side. The arrangement builds in intensity as the tune goes along, with Vinson and Mazza once again doubling the melody after Mazza's solo. Drummer Bill Campbell
also does some nice work on this track, helping to move the music forward, while never overshadowing the tune.
"Testa Rossa," one of the standout tracks, begins with just a steel-string acoustic guitar; after eight measures, the whole band comes in with a supremely funky groove. The distorted, wah-wah laced electric guitar, dubbed over the acoustic, adds a nice touch. Vinson takes a great solo on this tune, displaying a searing, emotionally-driven tone.
Other highlights include versions of "My Funny Valentine," with a beautifully played finger-style interlude, and "On Green Dolphin Street," both arrangements emphasizing Mazza's penchant and talent for creative guitar voicings.
While Mazza owes a debt to guitar greats such as Pat Metheny