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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lisa Mezzacappa: avantNOIR

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avantNOIR--an homage to the tradition of hard-boiled fiction and film noir? The imaginary soundtrack for an abstract crime novel? A reimagining of Fifties' jazz combos through the language of avant-garde? This new record by bassist Lisa Mezzacappa is all of the above and much, much more. Equally inspired by the hard-boiled novels of Dashiell Hammett and the existential crime stories of Paul Auster's New York Trilogy--with more than a few hints to the classic film noir canon--avantNOIR ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lisa Mezzacappa: avantNOIR

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The underlying story for this album by West Coast bassist, composer and improviser, Lisa Mezzacappa emanates from her fascination with Paul Auster's New York Trilogy, Dashiell Hammett's crime stories and similar literary works. Hence, the program casts a visual of nighttime in an intimidating metropolis. Toss in several progressive jazz motifs that parallel an action-packed detective thriller or several instances of zany comedic inferences and you have an album that lives by a platform of diversity amid a host of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Aaron Bennett / Darren Johnston / Lisa Mezzacappa / Frank Rosaly: Shipwreck 4

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Chicago-based session ace and solo artist, drummer Frank Rosaly aligns with San Francisco Bay Area notables for a meeting of like-minded, highly skilled improvisers. After a gig in Frisco, the musicians' scheduled time to record this quartet date. Unfortunately, Shipwreck studios was destroyed in a fire a few months after this session and the musicians decided to pay a bit of homage via the album moniker. As improvisers amid the semi-structured song-forms, they do what they characteristically do ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Aaron Bennett / Darren Johnston / Lisa Mezzacappa / Frank Rosaly: Shipwreck 4

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Named after the Oakland studio where the disc was recorded, the Shipwreck 4 brings together three West Coast improvisers with Chicago drummer Frank Rosaly for a program of six collectively created selections. As apparent on Everybody's Somebody's Nobody (Clean Feed, 2016), his duet with guitarist Fred Frith, trumpeter Darren Johnston's work maintains a melodic core, albeit one masked by occasional extended techniques. Aaron Bennett matches the trumpeter with adventurous but controlled tenor saxophone, delivered in a light airy tone. Bassist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lisa Mezzacappa Trio: X Marks The Question

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X Marks The Question is one of two concurrent September 2013 releases on separate record labels by burgeoning San Francisco Bay Area-based, bassist composer Lisa Mezzacappa. On Comeuppance (Not Two Records, 2013) she fronts a quartet featuring saxophonist Aaron Bennett but here, spearheads a power-packed progressive jazz trio, highlighting lead soloist, guitarist Chris Welcome. And as history would dictate--given the bassist's avant-garde proclivities--this session is far from your boilerplate modern jazz guitar trio date other than “Negakfok," which leans towards ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vinny Golia / Marco Eneidi / Lisa Mezzacappa / Vijay Anderson: Hell-Bent In The Pacific

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Ever since moving to Austria in 2004, Bay Area alto saxophonist Marco Eneidi has flown beneath the radar, particularly in terms of recorded output. His discography boasts some heavy duty entries, including late trumpeter Bill Dixon's Thoughts (Soul Note, 1986) and bass maestro William Parker's Sunrise In The Tone World (Aum Fidelity, 1996), in addition to several appearances with legendary pianist Cecil Taylor, so it's a real pleasure to find him in the company of three other West Coast residents ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lisa Mezzacappa & Nightshade: Cosmic Rift

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Since relocating to San Francisco ten years ago, Staten Island-born bassist Lisa Mezzacappa has established herself as a commanding presence in the vibrant West Coast scene. Mezzacappa's pliant bass lines have provided a stalwart foundation for some of the Bay Area's most dynamic projects, ranging from the visceral excursions of her riotous garage jazz band Bait & Switch to her collaborative efforts in the bold collective quartet Cylinder. Cosmic Rift, the debut of Mezzacappa's neo-classical quintet Nightshade, showcases a more ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Two Lisa Mezzacappas Shake Up LA

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Lisa MezzacappaCafe Metropol, Eagle Rock Center for the ArtsLos AngelesDec. 5 and 6, 2009Lisa Mezzacappa led two concerts in Los Angeles in December, one imbued with a musical smile and one with the ferocity of a howling, avant-garde battleground. Her smile was easy to love; the avant-garde battle required a little more effort. Amazingly, the same jazz movement inspired both gigs, proving it can still amuse and unsettle audiences some 45 years after ...


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