T.O. Nite
Live Music Guide
October 8-21, 1997 Issue #105
The Jazz Beat
by Dean Nixon
David Occhipinti's new CD a pleasure
It was with great pleasure that I listened to the recent debut of local jazz guitarist David Occhipinti. Inventiveness abounds in each of the ten original tunes, both in the compositions and in the soloing. This well recorded album cisplays a range of guitar sounds - subleties of tonal nuance that were lost to the bad acoustics and room noise when I've heard him on club gigs.
Occhipinti has studied extensively with Jim Hall, the legendary New York guitarist who's renowned as the master of subtle nuance. Occhipinti's album has captured a trademark Hall sound - blending the mellow electric jazz guitar tone with the instruments crisp acoustic overtones. In the solo piece "Iceberg", his sound morphs from the acoustic to the electric, in shifting shades of tone colour. It's an interesting composition in the Ralph Towner-Egberto Gismonti-Leo Brower vein of contemporary guitar.
At other moments, the playing is reminiscent of Ed Bickert's chord voicings, or of the harmonics-arpeggios of Lenny Breau. The Jim Hall influence crops up repeatedly in his melodic ideas, subtle string bending and overall feel. Yet Occhipinti is his own man - he's woven his own distinctive cloth from these threads of his mentors and influences, in a more contemporary musical style.
Four tunes are a trio format, with the solid rhythm section of Jim Vivian, bass and Kevin Dempsey, drums. Four more tunes add the superb piano of David Restivo to form a quartet. Some fine soloing from both Restivo and Vivian.
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