Monday, March 9, 2015

Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth, Epicenter

Jazz-rock fusion has many variations in style these days. A smart and hip variant certainly can be found in bassist-composer-bandleader Chris Lightcap and his band Bigmouth in their new one, Epicenter (Clean Feed 315).

Chris does all the arrangements and compositions, save a very cool version of Lou Reed's Nico/Velvet vehicle "All Tomorrow's Parties." Chris is at the bass, Craig Taborn does the keys, Gerald Cleaver puts out on the drums and the twin tenors of Tony Malaby and Chris Cheek give a critical flourish and presence to the sound.

This is modern music, open yet very structured, with some very exemplary sort of odd-phrased compositional elements and well-thought-out arrangements. Chris is very much an anchor on bass as well as a soloist to hear, and Taborn, Malaby and Cheek give you considerable additional improvisational clout.

All that stands out as a sort of breakthrough of "serious" jazz composition that has swinging and rocking elements and space for the prowess of this fine band.

After a few listens you get a very strong feeling of originality and first-rate blowing, compositional vibrancy and general hitting-it togetherness.

It's one that will stay in your head long after you've heard it, once you give it a few spins to get acclimated.

A breakthrough album for Bigmouth! Strongly recommended!

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