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Mike DeMicco isn't yet a household name among jazz guitarists, but he's certainly on his way on the strength of recordings such as this. You've probably heard his work before. He has amassed some impressive credits: he's currently touring with the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, was a member of the early-80s fusion quartet The Dolphins (they released a couple CDs on the audiophile DMP label), has worked with pianists Dave Brubeck, Warren Bernhardt, and Chuck Lamb, and has plenty of folk and blues credits as well (Livingston Taylor and Rory Block, to name two).
His diverse resume has contributed to his playing prowess, but the program here is all progressive, creative quartet jazz. It's straight-ahead, but with a contemporary feel. Eight of the nine tunes on this disc are DeMicco compositions, and they're complex, intricate, and original vehicles. They're accessible, yet provide a good jumping-off point for some challenging solos by DeMicco and his bandmates. DeMicco possesses a fluid, melodic style and excellent technique and taste.
For this date, DeMicco has chosen his sidemen well (check the personnel below). Warren Bernhardt, in particular, just kills! He digs deep into each song and creates complex chordal lines, exploiting the changes for all their potential. DeMicco has enjoyed performing with the others in various contexts currently and in the past, so the chemistry among the players is assured. (Blue Forest BFDEM-5701)
Track Listing: Y2K; As the Sun Sets; Eclipse; Deb's Dream; Lydian Grin; Cornelius; Dues Blues; Jack of Hearts; Big Sky. (65:55)
Personnel: Mike DeMicco - guitar; Warren Bernhardt - piano; Peter O'Brien - drums; Jay Anderson - acoustic bass; Rob Leon - electric bass; Vinnie Martucci - additional keyboards.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...