192

Luico Hopper: Reflections

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
It’s significant that bassist Luico Hopper covers a Bill Withers tune (“Lovely Day”) on his new disc. Like that master of earthy soul, Hopper’s approach to his own idiom – smooth jazz, to pick an umbrella term – has an honest, downhome feel to it. The requisite surface features are there (drum programming, keyboards, easy grooves), but the result stands out by virtue of its human warmth.

Hopper’s writing palette allows for a wide variety of colors, as on the title track, where vibraphonist Brian Carrot (whose CV runs from mainstream to the avant-garde) adds a nice metallic feel alongside Maurico Smith’s alto flute. Hopper adds some of the same sharp sonorities to “Hidden Treasures” via keyboards, but Mark Adams’ acoustic piano grounds the tune with pleasant chords, and thoughtful arpeggios. “Don’t Hold Back” features the leader’s electric bass, soloing economically, unhurriedly, over Zane Mark’s organ work. Mark Gross’ alto saxophone work on the track is similarly fresh, mic’d naturally, and not pushed to sound like he’s playing the “Saturday Night Live” theme, a trait found on too many smooth jazz releases. Reggie Pittman adds proficient trumpet to several tracks, including the sinuous “For You,” which conjures visions of rainy-day contemplation.

Hopper also plays acoustic bass on the soulful “Leslie,” which – like the disc as a whole – reaches back to the genre’s funk-jazz roots for its signposts. Like Hopper’s music, the production on Reflections is agreeable to the ear, with enough grit in the details to let you know that it comes from the heart.


Track Listing: Odyssey/Reflections/Lovely Day/For You/Leslie/Hidden Treasures/Don

Personnel: Hopper

| Record Label: Ralston Hill | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Vit" CD/LP/Track Review Vit
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "On Ceremony" CD/LP/Track Review On Ceremony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Funk 'n' Feathers" CD/LP/Track Review Funk 'n' Feathers
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Checking Out" CD/LP/Track Review Checking Out
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!