Occdav Music OM003
Reviewed by John Kelman for Planet Jazz Magazine (Summer Issue 2004)
Its almost impossible to keep track of the extended Occhipinti family. Guitarist Michael, along with his own solo career, co-leads NOJO with pianist Paul Neufield. Bassist Roberto explores the Afro-Cuban side of things. Guitarist David, with his new release, Intersection, continues to develop his own unique language. There are some parallels between Occhipinti and American guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. Both come from the Jim Hall school via more contemporary artists, including Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell, and have a warm and slightly dark sound. However, whereas Rosenwinkel has enhanced his angular style, embracing modernity through the use of loops, samples and drum programs, Occhipinti maintains an earthier ambience, creating his own contemporary approach through oblique, elliptical melodies and irregular, metered pieces that somehow manage to flow effortlessly.
Back with Occhipinti is saxophonist Mike Murley, last seen together displaying a remarkable chemistry on Duologue. If anything, their empathy continues to grow and this time, with a more traditional quartet line-up, there is a more overt energy. On the uptempo "Parma Parma," Occhipinti uses repetitive patterns, while Murley creates cascading lines to build intensity. Upping the ante is drummer Terry Clarke who contributes a powerful solo, demonstrating a veteran player still forward-thinking and forward-reaching.
Alongside the more fiery tracks are the folk-informed "Stella," the 6/8 swinger "Homeless (Part II)," the Mediterranean-flavored "Dolce Vita," and the 12-tone solo, "Dodecagon." Throughout, bassist Andrew Downing provides supple support, working hand-in-glove with Clarke.
With an exploratory compositional and playing style that incorporates influences from a variety of sources, David Occhipinti has delivered his strongest effort to date. Intersection positions him as one of Canadas finest young composers and performers, and bodes well for the future.