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Italian-born guitarist Fabrizio Sotti straddles the fence between straight-ahead jazz and pop-oriented instrumentals on Inner Dance, a muscular guitar extravaganza featuring Sotti's original compositions.
Sotti gives equal attention to electric and nylon string acoustic guitars throughout, striking a balance between chops-heavy showcases and reflective pieces with an emphasis on song structure. His electric playing has an aggressive punch, incorporating blazing, single-note runs with a rocked-up edge. At times, his style is reminiscent of fusion guitar giant Mike Stern, with a hearty concoction of bebop, bluesy string bends and sustained high notes, especially on high energy pieces such as "I Thought So" and "Last Chance," a wild ride on rhythm changes.
With technique intact, Sotti demonstrates a more lyrical side with acoustic in hand. The classical-style influence brings out an effervescent flavor on the soulful ballad "Kindness in Your Eyes" and the floating "Amanecer," featuring the soothing vocal work of Claudia Acuna.
Organist Sam Barsh and drummers Victor Jones and Mino Cinelu keep pace with Sotti, providing a rock-solid foundation for the guitarist to build on. Special guest Gregoire Maret delivers a first-rate harmonica solo on the title track, weaving effortlessly through the tune's waltz tempo funk.
With an abundance of infectious grooves and catchy hooks, Inner Dance proves to be a listener-friendly affair with Sotti staking claim as a guitarist with whom to be reckoned.
Track Listing: Blue Whisper; Kindness In Your Eyes; Inner Dance; I Thought So; Amancer; Brief Talk; Last Chance; Mr. T.M.; We Are What We Are.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.