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Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth: Epicenter

Budd Kopman By

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The closing track of bassist Chris Lightcap's muscular and vibrant Epicenter is a very intense and almost brutal version of Lou Reed's "All Tomorrow's Parties" from the 1967 release Velvet Underground & Nico. This tune, which is among Reed's most highly crafted works and which captures the essence of both the times and its subculture, is taken more slowly by Lightcap and the band, deepening its impact even further.

It is the perfect ending for an album that musically celebrates various New York City neighborhoods with seven tracks conceived as a suite entitled, Lost and Found: New York. Stylistically varied, the tracks share a strutting assurance, rhythmic vibrancy and harmonic simplicity which gives the music immediate appeal to many a varied musical taste.

Lightcap's group, Bigmouth, is driven by the big sound of Lightcap's bass that is tightly coupled with Gerald Cleaver's superb drumming; indeed, one can almost feel Cleaver smiling throughout. Completing the rhythm section is keyboardist extraordinaire Craig Taborn, playing both the Wurlitzer and regular piano. The meshing of this trio is exquisite and allows the dual tenor saxophone front line of Tony Malaby and Chris Cheek to float or attack as needed or desired.

Thus, Bigmouth is made up of some of the cream of the New York jazz scene, with all most evidently having a great time playing Lightcap's direct music together.

If you have a friend or acquaintance who espouses a love for music, but not "jazz," send Epicenter his or her way, and watch a "wow" light up their eyes.

Track Listing: Nine South; White Horse; Epicenter; Arthur Avenue; Down East; Stillwell; Stone by Stone; All Tomorrow's Parties.

Personnel: Chris Lightcap: bass, acoustic guitar, organ; Craig Taborn: Wurlitzer, electric piano, piano, organ; Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Chris Cheek: tenor saxophone; Gerald Cleaver: drums, percussion.

Title: Epicenter | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

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