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tito: in search of a revolution
Cat's A Bear
contemporary jazz from the cats
Jazz guitar-trio music CD Tito: In Search of a Revolution, features original jazz instrumentals from the contemporary fusion group Cat's A Bear.
Normally, a jazz album sub-categorized as funk or fusion would conjure images of a large, electric ensemble with distorted electric guitar, huge PA systems, and banks of amplifiers. While the musicians on Revolution play with the same energy, the sound is scaled down to a guitar trio, with composer/guitarist Frank Singer's clean Gibson 175 guitar mixing with bassist Tony Stefanelli's Alembic Fretless Electric bass-guitar and drummer Joe Dorris' hand-made Ames drum shells.
In some ways, the subdued impact of the instruments creates space that allows for more intensity from the notes and rhythms. With Singer taking the notes and Dorris taking the rhythms, bassist Stefanelli holds together the texture with melodic, lyrical bass-lines. Singer and Dorris meet in the rhythmic relationship of melody and harmony, and together they forge the form of any song they play.
This trio takes you from funk to latin to swing, using modern harmonic language and linear time. Each musician has straddled the past and the present, and a respectful nod to jazz history is combined with the familiarity with the music of current times, from reggae to rock-and-roll. The songs are presented in traditional jazz format, with written melodies bookending the improvised solos, although some, like Blue Tito and HSA, have more detailed forms.
Singer, who's guitar style has been compared to Joe Pass, George Benson, Larry Coryell and Wes Montgomery, has a hand in every song, with five his alone, and the rest collaborations with the other trio members. Comparisons to James Blood Ulmer and Ronald Shannon Jackson aside, Singer's writing shows the influence of McCoy Tyner, John McLaughlin and Mike Stern, with a melodic approach clearly affected by contemporary classical music.
Bassist Stefanelli, student of Dave Holland, lends his warm fretless-electric sound to the mix. His bass-lines compliment Dorris' drumming perfectly, keeping the sound full at all times. This rhythm section creates a unique backdrop for the presentation of songs, with each player standing out in solos and blending in in ensembles.
Tito: In Search of a Revolution is a unique jazz trio album. For those who appreciate the space and detail of precision players who know how to jam and have fun, this is a perfect mix.
TITO: IN SEARCH OF A REVOLUTION, 8 tracks of jazz.
Phil Papotnik [Positive Energy]
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