Jazzeast Rising

Vol. 2 Is. 1

Autumn 2007

David Occhipinti - Forty Revolutions
reviewed by Chris Elson

Forty Revolutions is guitarist and composer David Occhipinti's fourth album as a leader. The album is beautifully composed, with a lot of tightly arranged and executed corners but also open stretches where the listener, like the players, breathes deeply of some kind of freedom. There is a delicacy and lightness of approach throughout this collection but there are grooves here that wouldn't be out of place in much heavier and more generically-defined contexts. The ensemble work is sensitive throughout and founded in many places on repetitive, evolving fragments to which the bass, saxophone, drums and guitar contribute in more or less equal measure. Andrew Downing contributes his characteristic intelligence to the bottom line, whether in a walking mode that defies expectations with its clever accents or in his powerfully bowed underling of crucial motifs. Mike Murley is thoughtful and as always lyrical but it is a lyricism here tempered by the albums tendency to a leaner and more hushed expressionism. Terry Clarke's drumming is impeccable, alert and inventive. Occhipinti's guitar sound has a subdued and colourful brightness. His long and intricate lines work the full range of the guitar and his comping produces discreet, sometimes surprising shimmers and infinitely precise punctuation.

The first track " Sofia's Song," dedicated to Occhipinti's daughter, is a bouncy, shifting working-out of rhythmic intuition. Child-like in its exuberance. "Feel X" is far from being just one feel among others, anonymous or common. It features a very interestiong relation to silence. Excellent chamber jazz from some of Canada's best conceptualists. And the fragmented motivic material stays with the listener, placing him or her in emotional territory that is sometimes is hard to define.

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