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Friday, March 21, 2014

Guitar Week: Lisa Mezzacappa Trio - X Marks the Question (Queen Bee Records, 2013) ****

By Paul Acquaro

Bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa has been delighting the writers here at the Freejazz blog with her Bait & Switch and Nightshade releases over the past few years. Here, the Bay Area bassist teams up with Brooklyn based drummer Mike Pride and guitarist Chris Welcome for an excellent album with composition credits shared amongst the trio.

I am particularly drawn to the track 'Ghost Dance', where the uptempo head takes off with an unusual melody and seques beautifully into a guitar solo of perfected abandon. 'Jazz Brunch' is a pretty tune, sort of a ballad with bite, on which Mezzacappa and Pride exchange freely in between the gentle melody. Pride's 'Potty Mouth' features a full on breakdown into acoustic atmospherics and 'The Deep Disciplines' features interlocking guitar/bass interludes that sound both tight and loose at the same time.

I could continue with the track-by-track but instead will just say X Marks the Question is an excellent album where free playing accentuates the compositional ideas and, in the spirit of Guitar Week, features some really nice fretwork work by Welcome. I was unfamiliar with his playing before, but really enjoy how he mixes a traditional jazz feel with freer inclinations.


Unknown said...

Thanks so much for the kind words, Paul - yeah "both tight and loose at the same time" pretty much sums up what I am going for - thanks for getting it!