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A Bend In the River

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Album Review

Never straying far from his classical or jazz roots, Toronto bassist Roberto Occhipinti presents this orchestral-based effort in tandem with either a small string ensemble or the Globalis Orchestra based in Moscow. It's not so much a folk-styled effort as the title suggests, but an organic effort bringing two worlds together slightly off the beaten path into this kind of fusion music, with a beautiful result. Occhipinti's core group of the brilliant drummer Dafnis Prieto, alto saxophonist Luis Deniz, and pianist David Virelles take charge in many instances of the melodies and harmonies, but the string component is much more than mere window dressing, as they work together. There's nothing syrupy or contrived about this idea, it's all in the spirit of cooperation, collaboration, shared values, and balance. While there is some big-band style hard bop ("Umbria" and "Chamacos") along with a little funk or some ballads here, Occhipinti loves to thematically create vistas and horizons of dawn and dusk. "Marta" features the individualistic Deniz in this realm, although the sound itself is not all that developed, but a version of John Coltrane's "Naima" focuses on the more symphonic nature with a twist of the large group's collective personality. Also with Globalis, the title selection has the Aaron Copland feel of fields and expansive flatlands where you can see for miles, a light samba punctuated by the guitar work of brother Michael Occhipinti, and the distinctly African but not heavy drumming of the legendary Tony Allen. While this kind of music is nothing new for Roberto Occhipinti, it is a tipping point for his career. Will he continue to explore this duality of his life, or go in a completely different direction? ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Genre: Jazz

Years Active:

Bassist Roberto Occhipinti was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on March 25, 1955. He comes from a prominent musical family that includes two guitarists: younger brother Michael and cousin David. Michael Occhipinti is a well-known sideman and co-founder of NOJO -- the Neufeld-Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra. At the University of Toronto, beginning in 1972, Roberto Occhipinti studied under Thomas Monohan and was mentored by Joel Quarrington and especially the acclaimed jazz bassist Dave Young. He was a...
Full bio
A Bend In the River, Roberto Occhipinti
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  • £10.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Rock
  • Released: 11 November 2008

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