Electric guitarist Mark O'Leary's quasi-jazz-fusion guitar linessomewhat oddlyfit like a glove on this chamber-formatted jazz-improv session. Two proven warriors, violaist Mat Maneri and pianist Matthew Shipp, round out this cleverly articulated studio date. Hailing from Ireland, O'Leary has been in the jazz trenches for a good bit, yet he might not be a recognizable name to the jazz and improvisation-oriented masses. But he's certainly one to watch. And other than his noticeable chops, the guitarist is most definitely a good listener, or perhaps an acute student of the game.
O'Leary uses his volume control techniques to accent and mimic his bandmates' microtonal statements amid Maneri's staccato lines and minimalist voicings. Shipp generally serves as the pacesetter by generally establishing and steering the various flows. Consequently, O'Leary doesn't fall into the trap of overpowering his fellow instrumentalists with a blitz of technical gymnastics, even when he cranks up the volume amid buzzing single note runs. Therefore, the band works on a level playing field. And it's a complementary engagement, at that.
The trio frequently alters the pitch and tempo during these avant improvisations. Occasionally they engage in soaring climaxes via weaving three-way dialogues. In addition, the artists aim to infer, rather than tell a complete story in one fell swoop. Ultimately, they offer the listener a chance to absorb and then let the psyche wander into multiple abstractions.
Track Listing: Jaunt; Simple Simon; Rest; I am not the only one; Voice crack; St. Ives; Ligeture; Kurtis Park
Personnel: Mark O'Leary: guitar; Mat Maneri: viola; Matthew Shipp: piano
The first jazz record I received
as a visiting gift from my
Japanese uncle at his
international division of
Toshiba EMI Tokyo was a
sample copy of Miles Davis'
Bitches Brew. A game
changer redirecting my
browsing habits and collection.