Jazziz Magazine - November 1997 issue
Mike Bieber
David Occhipinti
(Unity Records)
David Occhipinti probably couldn't ask for a better showcase than his eponymously titled debut. From the album's start, the young Canadian guitarist reveals a lyrical six-string approach as well as a compositional prowess; he fingerpicks an intricate, arpeggiated melody using broken chords over a 12-bar foundation. Like many young guitar players, Occhipinti has been touched by the tendrils of rock and pop influences - even crediting the Beatles in his "thank you" list. Still, this set isn't a contempo or fuzak outing, but rather a low-key, postmodern acoustic date that thrives on the guitarist's memorable, contemporary-sounding tunes, embracing melody and major keys while recalling the impressionistic, delicate beauty of Occhipinti's hero, Jim Hall.
Occhipinti's ensemble - drummer Kevin Dempsy, bassist Jim Vivian, and pianist Dave Restivo - display a sublime intuition, following every sudden start and stop of these harmonically and rhythmically intricate tunes. On the pianoless tunes, particularly the introspective "Tower Images," drummer Kevin Dempsy lightly taps a raga-like rhythm on his cymbals while the guitarist displays his most strident and imaginative improvising. Perhaps the most impressive composition here is the solo-guitar "Iceberg," ripe with neo-classical textures and a droning ostinato that veers closer to classical guitar than jazz guitar. Worth a listen.
read more reviews about the debut CD:
Toronto Star/May 1997
Jazz Report Magazine/Summer 1997
Calgary Herald/May 1997
T.O. Nite/October 1997
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