The Calgary Herald
Saturday May 10,1997
Brian Brennan
Jazz Discs
Occhipinti makes smooth debut
David Occhipinti: David Occhipinti (Unity).
Occhipinti is the 30-year- old Toronto-born son of Italian immigrants, a satiny-toned electric guitarist who has studied in New York with Jim Hall, and done much of his playing in Italy. Now back in Toronto, Occhipinti has filled his debut CD with mood- evoking original compositions inspired by the things he has seen, heard and felt during the past half a dozen years.
Although Hall has obviously defined the sound Occhipinti produces from his instrument, and also shown the younger guitarist how to paint impressionistic colors, this is not just another copycat recording from a Hall clone.
Occhipinti plays at a higher energy level than his mentor, and delves into the kinds of chordal and sonic experiments that would seem strange on a Hall recording.
There are no liner notes with this disc, so listeners will have to create their own road maps, and run their own imaginary movies in their heads, as they move from track to track.
However, they will find some clues in the song titles and dedications. The Great One is a busy arpeggiated tribute to Wayne Gretzky. David Leaves is built on the chord changes of Autumn Leaves. Study Hall is dedicated to Occhipinti's mentor. Winter-time is based on Gershwin's Summertime.
Occhipinti put in more than a decade of studying and performing before releasing his first disc, accompanied by three up-and-coming Toronto jazz musicians: pianist Dave Restivo, bassist Jim Vivian and drummer Kevin Dempsey. It's a calling card Occhipinti can be proud of.
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