Back in the day (the 1960s), when guitarist Grant Green
stepped into the studio to record for Blue Note Records, they rolled the tape. Literally. Pushed a button and the spools began to spin, the left circle feeding the right. On Live To Tape
, that is how guitarist Alex Wintz
rolls, too, taking his modern sound back to bygone recording mode, catching his sounds directly to tape.
All that, of course, don't mean a thing if it ain't got that superior level of musicianship and vibrant trio interplay between the leader and his cohorts, bassist Dave Baron
and drummer Jimmy Macbride
. But it does, beginning with the Wintz-penned "Idris" that opens the show with resonant and piquant single note runs in front of a bump and shuffle rhythm. It is a near-ten minute barnburner that serves as a prime example of how a guitar / bass / drums affair, drawing inspiration from Blue Note's heyday, should go down.
The sound is clean and warm, with the clarity of a post-rainstorm afternoon, after the wind has pushed the clouds away. "On A Summer Day," another Wintz composition, has a laid-back looseness/burning intensity dynamic that grooves into a Baron bass solobeautifully accompanied by Wintz and MacBridethat slips the sound into the cool zone.
The Herbie Hancock
-penned "Textures," one of the three covers, takes on a tangy Latin tinge, and "What Me Worry" explores the ballad side of sound, in a gorgeous six minutes of mainstream rumination. "Cadeques" has an overall more delicate, more brooding articulation, and "I'm All Smiles," the closer, displays a lively assurance and optimism, the equality of input between the three instruments serving the music well, to wind up a set that was recorded in one day, live to tape, in the old school fashion, resulting in an immediacy and freshness that is...refreshing.
Idris; On a Summr Day; What Me Worry; Ely, MN; Cadeques; I'm All Smiles.