211

Lou Volpe: Hear And Now

Jack Huntley By

Sign in to view read count
Lou Volpe: Hear And Now Lou Volpe is a seasoned session and touring guitarist who has backed a litany of music luminaries. On Hear And Now, he steps out into the spotlight and fills center stage with his melodic, infection playing. Backed by a superb cast of musicians, Volpe's playing straddles the line between classic jazz guitar and a more exuberant, blues-rock style. The beauty of Volpe's work is how he moves effortlessly between the two without tipping his hand. Where Volpe goes, the ear follows.

No song better typifies this ability than "Coltrane of Thought," with its blues-rock refrain seamlessly transitioning into the bursting flares of Volpe's John Coltrane-like solo. This is a guitarist who drives the music just as much as he lets it drive him, which creates a wonderful sense of the unexpected on each track. Take "One of Wes," whose musical tension comes from the energy of Volpe's expressive solo against the backdrop of a laidback rhythmic feel. Volpe follows a long improv line with flawlessly placed ending hooks, just as the beat is about to turn, adding an expectant overtone to feel.

One worry with longtime session musicians fronting albums is that the ingrained habit of being a support player will silence their own creative voice. Volpe largely avoids this pitfall. "Prince Charming" is heavily reminiscent of a Herb Ellis blues,but Volpe throws in so many melodic ingredients that the song takes off from the inspiration instead of sinking beneath it. Especially interesting on this track is the contrast between Volpe's dirty-boogie sound and pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs' bright, upbeat take. Blending together, the two create a wide harmonic tone that catches the attention as the two trade solos.

Volpe may have a long career of supporting others, but Hear And Now proves he's willing and able to stand alone as a front line jazz musician. With a grounded and versatile band underscoring his plethora of ideas and insights, Volpe lets loose and the result is a contagious energy wrapped within a knowing musical ability.

Track Listing: Astral Island; Hear and Now; Prince Charming; Coltrane of Thought; One for Wes; Live Wires; Blue Boppa; Softly As in a Morning Sunrise; If You Should Leave; Love Dance.

Personnel: Lou Volpe: guitar; Onaje Allan Gumbs: piano; Bob Cranshaw: bass; Buddy Williams: drums.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Goodbye to Language" CD/LP/Track Review Goodbye to Language
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "George DeLancey" CD/LP/Track Review George DeLancey
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2016
Read "This is Life" CD/LP/Track Review This is Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction" CD/LP/Track Review Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "Telepathy & Bop" CD/LP/Track Review Telepathy & Bop
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!