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Dave Zinno: Fetish

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Dave Zinno: Fetish
While it is obvious that bassist Dave Zinno put a lot of thought into the writing and arrangements here, it is the quality of solo performances that gives this album its worthy distinction. Some may be familiar with pianist Tim Ray from his inclusion in the trio backing one of altoist Greg Abate's albums and his own trio outing on Whaling City Sound label. But trumpeter Eric Benny Bloom and most impressively, the tenor mastery of Mike Tucker, were previously unknown to me, and probably most of the the jazz listening public.

Bassist Zinno is no slouch himself, and he does, for the most part, avoid the downfall of many bassist lead groups, bringing the bass too much to the fore, overshadowing what should be the front line. But he is by no means on the sidelines. He makes that point impressively, by laying down a hard driving ostinato bass line on the title tune and opening track. This tune introduces Tucker who soars majestically over a solid rhythmic bass of Zinno and drummer Rafael Barata. He is sort of a combination of John Coltrane and Michael Brecker. His solo is only one chorus, but he plumbs both the upper and lower range of his instrument with a ferocity that makes one wish he didn't have to stop so soon and so abruptly.

"Out Of The Hole" is slower paced and reminds one of Wayne Shorter's "ESP," with its subtle twists and turns and quietly shifting harmonies. Bloom's middle register is effective here and there is a sprightly piano solo by Leo Genovese. "Unknown Mystery" is reminiscent of the seminal Brecker Brothers band, with Genovese switching over to synthesizer while Tim Ray takes over the piano bench. Bloom's trumpet solo grows in intensity with the ebb and flow of the rhythm background. Once again, Tucker shines. He takes his time, playing longer notes and showing off his glorious sound. "Golden Age" has a stop time rhythm under girding a quicksilver melody stated in unison by trumpet and tenor before going into a fast 4/4 rhythm on the bridge. Genovese drives ahead with Zinno and Barata pushing him hard. Then a masterpiece by Tucker. He takes his time with a very staccato opening and then slashing through the changes in the up-tempo bridge. Bloom seems inspired by the tenor solo, copying some of the rhythmic contours and then soaring into the upper register.

"Beatriz" is all Tucker at the beginning before being assisted delicately by Ray in the first ballad on the album. Zinno's bass virtually sings when he steps forward to briefly solo with his quiet lines interweaving gracefully with those of pianist Ray. "Future History" has a McCoy Tyner feel, with a strong bass line and mysterioso trumpet-tenor melodic statement layered on top. This offers Tucker a great opportunity stretch out and does he ever take advantage of it. His solo is a monument to both passion and restraint. When he climaxes with a series of impressive runs you can almost feel the exhaustion. He hands the ball over to Genovese, who does Tyner proud with his most impressive outing on the date. "Melancholy Daydream" is a minor key waltz penned by Tucker and the best tune of the dozen recorded here. Tucker handles his tune with loving care. He takes his time, with lots of long and pretty notes. Then he builds into a cascade of flourishes before handing it over to Bloom.

Tucker's other contribution is "Over The Horizon," a slow, brooding piece with tenor/trumpet front line, with pianist Ray sprinkling filigrees around the edges. He skirts over the waves of pianistics, mixing long, legato lines, with an avalanche of 32nd notes, all with the purest of sound. "Into The Whole" is a perfunctory melody, but fine solos by composer Genovese, and, once again, Tucker. "Nile" begins as a tribute to the avant-garde before transforming into a dirge like melody. The album ends with an upbeat Latin melody with a trombone added to the front line.

This is an exceptional album, memorable mostly for some very distinguished solos, and the emergence of Mike Tucker as an amazing soloist who, with proper exposure, could become a major voice in the jazz world.

Track Listing

Fetish; Out of the Hole; Unknown Mystery; The Golden Age; So Close So Far; Beatriz; Future History; Melancholy Daydream; Over the Horizon; Into the Whole; Nile; Meu Fraco e Cafe Forte.

Personnel

Dave Zinno: bass; Eric Benny Bloom: trumpet; Mike Tucker: saxophone, tenor; Tim Ray: piano; Leo Genovese: keyboards; Rafael Barata: drums; Rafael Rocha: trombone.

Album information

Title: Fetish | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound

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