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MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Nouveau Fusion: Superette And Visitors

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Bereft of forced funk and over-complicated compositions, jazz-rock fusion can be as liberating as the best rock and roll. That is, if the technical expertise brought to bear is restrained and sublimated to the unity of the ensemble and the musicians involved play with the unity of a true band. Then the emotional expression usually contained in song lyrics permeates the musicianship. Witness the work of Chris Lightcap and company as well as Jonathan Goldberger, JP Schlegelmilch, Jim Black: maintaining ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth: Epicenter

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Conceived as a continuous seven-part extended work for his band, Bigmouth, the first seven tracks on Chris Lightcap's Epicenter are as remarkable for their diversity as they are for the ways in which they're tied together. The unifying theme here is “New York: Lost and Found," and the music could indeed work as a sort of conceptual portrait of the city's colorful population and little-known, out-of-the-way nooks and crannies. Lightcap's band, now well into its second decade ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth: Epicenter

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The closing track of bassist Chris Lightcap's muscular and vibrant Epicenter is a very intense and almost brutal version of Lou Reed's “All Tomorrow's Parties" from the 1967 release Velvet Underground & Nico. This tune, which is among Reed's most highly crafted works and which captures the essence of both the times and its subculture, is taken more slowly by Lightcap and the band, deepening its impact even further. It is the perfect ending for an album that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth: Epicenter

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"Nine South" from New York bassist Chris Lightcap's Epicenter ignites the rhythm sense with its undeniable influence from West African music. Written as part of a commissioned work granted by Chamber Music America New Jazz Works, the piece was inspired by Lightcap's routine drive into Manhattan. Propelled by contagious hooks, fiery solos, and powerful harmonies, the music is driven by Lightcap's Big Mouth, a dynamic band of jazz progressives who have performed sporadically together for over 10 years.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth: Epicenter

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The group is packed with some of the top stars of modern jazz, but it's with the collective and cohesive ensemble sound that bassist/composer Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth stands out. Hard-driving, electric, edgy, with a chip sitting firmly on its collective shoulders, Epicenter, Lightcap's ode to New York City, commissioned by Chamber Music America New Jazz Works, sizzles with the brashness and agitated energy of the big city. Central to the sound is keyboardist Craig Taborn's distinctive work on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth: Epicenter

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Chris Lightcap is a bassist's bassist. As a sideman to leaders such as Regina Carter, Matt Wilson, Joe Morris, Marc Ribot, and Craig Taborn, his rock-solid timekeeping can be quite inconspicuous. He is a sort of steadfast superglue that leaders and composers hold in high regard. As a leader and composer, there is another Chris Lightcap. Epicenter, is his third Bigmouth release, following the quintet Deluxe (Clean Feed, 2010) and a quartet Bigmouth (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2002). ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Lightcap: Deluxe

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Bassist Chris Lightcap released a CD called Bigmouth on Fresh Sound-New Talent in 2003, featuring a quartet with drummer Gerald Cleaver and the unusual frontline of two tenor saxophonists, Tony Malaby and Bill McHenry. Seven years later, Lightcap returns to the concept, with “Bigmouth" now the name of the band rather than the CD. In the intervening period, the band and the concept have evolved considerably. Cleaver and Malaby are still present, but the second tenor saxophonist is now Chris ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Lightcap Quartet: Big Mouth

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With the release of Bigmouth, Chris Lightcap's sophomore effort on the Fresh Sound label, he continues to carve a unique niche into the modern jazz world. His music adroitly surfs the waves between mainstream and avant-garde sensibilities, managing to do so without insulting either camp. The quartet is comprised of two strong tenor sax players up front alongside the able support of drummer Gerald Cleaver and Lightcap on upright bass.

If you enjoy the classic quartet music of Ornette Coleman, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Lightcap Quartet: Bigmouth

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The jazz world has more than a few parallels to the world of sports, but unfortunately isn't given the same level of coverage and scrutiny. The rise of the formerly- regarded “team player" to sudden “all-star" status based on a reshuffling of the supporting cast is common to both worlds. Chris Lightcap now affirms his talents deserve wider recognition with this slam dunk followup to his debut, Lay-up. Blurring distinctions between the what-is-free and the what-is-harmony-based informs the playing of ...