Alex Wintz Trio: Live To Tape

Dan McClenaghan By

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Alex Wintz Trio: Live To Tape
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 solo—beautifully accompanied by Wintz and MacBride—that 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.

Track Listing

Idris; On a Summr Day; What Me Worry; Ely, MN; Cadeques; I'm All Smiles.


Alex Wintz: guitar; Dave Baron: bass, acoustic; Jimmy Macbride: drums.

Album information

Title: Live To Tape | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Outside in Music

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