Canada's Jazz Magazine since 1958

issue 336 - November/December 2007

David Occhipinti - Forty Revolutions
reviewed by Geoff Chapman

The fourth album of original music from guitarist Occhipinti, who toured its suave, sophisticated music throughout Canada this past October, will surely make a number of 2007's top ten lists. It's a meticulous tapestry of tonal nuance and understated passion. A glowing, seven-tune album that should grace any guitar lover's rack - any jazz lover's rack in fact. With frequent collaborator Mike Murley on saxophones, and the sensitive pulse of bassist Andrew Downing and drummer Terry Clarke, the eloquent leader illuminates his brilliant single-note lines and composing smarts with music and stellar execution that grabs the listener's attention from the first notes of "Sofia's Song," with its clever nursery rhyme elements. The lengthy outing on "Mars" explores the band's subtle strengths, its playing seemingly swathed in silken finery before driving provocatively to the surface. Here and elsewhere the leader's melodic forays work splendidly before he allots space to colleagues to try out their own miniature masterpieces. The foursome maintains an utterly symbiotic creative flow, finding the right balance between the direct appeal of both "Reds" and the stiffly-designed "Peace March," and the appealing abstractions of "Feel X." The group often creates sounds both mysterious and beautiful, for example on "Within the Widening Gyre." Occhipinti's rare achievement is to say something new and moving in an idiom that could be considered exhausted, while also demonstrating that jazz played softly can have a mighty impact. The playing is particularly supple and snaky, even modestly raucous, yet confidently secure on the darkly-themed "Femme Fatale."

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